HOUSTON – Dario Saric admitted that things came easier for him in his lone game as a starter.

The 76ers power forward knew what kind of defense the Mavericks and power forward Dirk Nowitzki would provide. Saric knew what he could expect from his teammates. And the 23-year-old was impressive under those circumstances, finishing with season highs of 12 points scored and four made three-pointers.

The problem is Saric only got Saturday's start because guard J.J. Redick was sidelined with lower-back tightness. The Sixers want him to provide a spark off the bench.

And unfortunately for them, he hasn't been able to fulfill that role. Saric has had tough time getting involved in his five games coming off the bench heading into Monday's matchup against the Rockets at the Toyota Center. He averaged 5.6 points and just three of 14 three-pointers (21.4 percent).

"I didn't find myself in a good role," he said. "Right now, I need to grow up like and players and adjust to every position on the team. I have to find a way to play good from whatever role that coach gives me."

Saric has also been seeing time as a reserve center.