Tom Smart, Deseret News
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."
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.
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