When the Rockets last played in Sacramento, Greg Smith’s family made plans to make the one-hour drive from his hometown of Vallejo, Calif., and finally see him in the NBA. Smith, however, was sent to the NBA Development League.

When the Rockets returned six weeks later on Wednesday, possibly for the last time depending on the NBA Board of Governors decision about the team moving to Seattle, Smith was not only back with the Rockets, he was starting.

“It feels good,” Smith said of the changes since the Rockets’ previous game in Sacramento. “I can see myself progressing as a player, as a man, learning more about this lifestyle on and off the court. I’m learning about scoring down low, being a defensive leader and talking on defense. It’s all going good.

“It was very hard last time. My family wanted to see me play. That right there helped me get to this point, going to the D-League and really working on my game and not taking anything for granted.”