Kevin McHale returns to Rockets

Updated: December 17, 2013, 5:49 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

Coach Kevin McHale rejoined the Houston Rockets on Tuesday after missing three games following the death of his mother.

McHale has been on leave for a week after his 86-year-old mother, Josephine, passed away in Minnesota. Her funeral was Friday.

The Rockets lost two of three road games under the watch of assistant coach Kelvin Sampson. McHale will be back on the bench for Wednesday's game against the Chicago Bulls.

"There's been a lot of sadness in his life," Sampson told the Houston Chronicle. "But he's also very concerned about the team. He had a text before I talked to him (Sunday), and I'll just say his observation was spot on."

McHale said after Tuesday's practice that he wasn't happy with what he saw during his time away from the team.

"You get a different perspective watching it from afar," McHale told reporters. "We had a really good effort against Golden State. We can talk a lot about technical stuff, but I didn't think our effort against Sacramento was nearly as good as it needed to be to win games, especially on the road.

"We've had that off and on all year. We have to have a minimum effort level that we give every night. We've got to get more of a baseline where we're more solid every single night. We've got to get more consistent."

Rockets players were glad to have McHale back.

"Not having his voice or his face over there, it makes a big difference," Chandler Parsons told reporters. "I'm just glad to have him back. He seemed like he was in good spirits today. As players, we're going to do everything we can to make him feel comfortable and at home and just continue to play hard and try to win games for him."

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