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Utah Jazz: Mo Williams a bright spot so far

Published: Monday, Nov. 5 2012 8:51 a.m. MST

Utah Jazz point guard Mo Williams (5) as the Utah Jazz previously took on the Dallas Mavericks in NBA basketball Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2012, in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Tom Smart, Deseret News

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The Utah Jazz couldn't escape San Antonio with a comeback victory after digging out of a 19-point hole Saturday.

But they took the night's biggest bright spot with them to Memphis.

That'd be Mo Williams.

The Jazz point guard had a sensational showing, scoring a game-best 29 points and sparking a 13-0 run at the end of the third quarter that helped tie what appeared to be a blowout.

Coach Tyrone Corbin said Williams' "toughness" is what stood out the most to him in Utah's 110-100 loss.

Corbin's other positive observations about the returned Jazz player: "His desire to win and his ability to take over games at times on the offensive end. His desire to get up in a guy on the defensive end and be focused on being aggressive."

The best part about the aforementioned?

"Everybody else followed that," Corbin said. "When he picked it up … as a result, we picked it up and we're going to need that the rest of the way."

Known for being a point guard who can score, Williams has led the Jazz in offensive output twice in three games. The Jazz have six players averaging double figures, but the 10-year veteran tops the squad with a 22.0 per-game average.

Williams said it's common sense for the Jazz to go with the hot hand, which he had. But he was more pleased with his game as a playmaker. Sure, the 6-foot-1 floor general scored a bunch, but he also finished with nine assists.

"I created some shots. I thought I did a good job of getting my teammates more involved that I felt like I didn't do in New Orleans," Williams said. "I'm a scorer, but at the same time I can distribute. The balance, I want to keep it there, because I absolutely need those four other guys out there on the floor with me."

COMING ATTRACTIONS

Monday: at Memphis, 6 p.m. (Root)

The last time the Jazz played here, DeMarre Carroll's head was smacked so hard a tooth was knocked to the back of his mouth. Kinda like Utah's trip so far.

Wednesday: vs. Los Angeles Lakers, 7 p.m. (Root)

Regardless of what happens tonight at the FedEx Forum, coming home will be a relief for the Jazz. Bigger relief? They host the winless Lakers.

Friday: at Denver, 8:30 p.m. (ESPN)

Taking a page from BYU football's TV book, the Jazz fly over the Rockies for a late, nationally televised game against the struggling Nuggets (0-3).

Saturday: vs. Phoenix, 7 p.m. (Root)

Here's guessing Steve Nash didn't expect the Lakers to be worse than the Suns when he ditched Phoenix to join forces with Kobe et al.

Who's Hot: Mo Williams

Point guard providing leadership, grit and offensive playmaking.

Who's Not: Al Jefferson

Last year's leading scorer is only averaging 12.7 ppg on 42.5 FG percent.

The BIG number: 99.7

Jazz are only 1-2, but their offense has been good — after the first quarter, at least. Utah averages 99.7 points (10th in NBA) but just 20.3 in the opening period.

EMAIL: jody@desnews.com

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