Williams plays despite back and calf injuries

Published: Thursday, Nov. 12 2009 12:00 a.m. MST

Utah's Deron Williams goes up to shoot between Boston's Rajon Rondo, left, and Kevin Garnett on Wednesday night.     (Michael Dwyer, Associated Press) Utah's Deron Williams goes up to shoot between Boston's Rajon Rondo, left, and Kevin Garnett on Wednesday night. (Michael Dwyer, Associated Press)

BOSTON — On Wednesday morning, Deron Williams indicated he probably wouldn't play.

On Wednesday night, he did.

"I felt pretty good," said Williams, who logged 33 minutes in a loss at Boston despite missing practice Tuesday and shootaround Wednesday because of a strained back that got worse overnight.

The Jazz's starting point guard also has a bruised left calf.

"You know, once I got in there it (the back) loosened up," he added. "When I sit, it stiffens up. But it felt pretty good compared to where it was this morning."

Williams was so sore Tuesday night he slept on the floor in the room at the Jazz's luxury hotel here, but he visited with Celtics-recommended chiropractor Tim Morgan for about two hours Wednesday afternoon.

"I had been staying in bed," Williams said. "I thought resting was the best thing for it."

But, he added, Morgan "said movement was the best thing for it, so after I worked with him I (didn't) really lay down or anything."

Instead, he stretched and went through his usual pre-game routine — then wound up with four assists and 13 points with 5-for-11 field shooting.

"I thought he played OK," Jazz coach Jerry Sloan said. "I mean, I can't worry if you're out there on the floor. That's not the reason we lost."

Williams played partly because his backup, Ronnie Price, was out with a sprained left toe sustained in Monday night's win at New York.

Williams on Wednesday was able to pinpoint his back troubles to a play in the Knicks game as well.

"It was right before the half, when I got (Chris) Duhon up in the air," he said. "He landed on me, and I kind of strained it.

"When I got up from that play, that's when my back started tightening up. ... That was a couple seconds before the half, and it was just tight when I went back to the locker room."

Visiting Morgan on Wednesday helped tremendously, suggested Williams, who gets adjusted before every home game and on some off days while in Utah by Jazz team chiropractor Bruce Nielson.

"He's the greatest," said Williams, who jokingly relayed a message to Jazz general manager Kevin O'Connor that Nielson should be on the Jazz's current road trip.

The Jazz do travel with a full-time massage therapist, but Nielson travels only occasionally, schedule permitting and as warranted.

Price, meanwhile, said Wednesday that his sprained toe wasn't feeling any better.

CLOSE CALL: Had Williams not played Wednesday, rookie Eric Maynor would have made his first NBA start and — according to Sloan — starting shooting guard Ronnie Brewer and starting small forward Andrei Kirilenko would have been utilized to get the Jazz into their offense.

As it turned out, No. 3 point Maynor played a season-high 16 minutes — including all 12 in the fourth quarter.

If he had any apprehension about starting, Sloan would have understood.

"I kind of was in the same boat as a rookie," the Jazz coach said. "Never got to play, and then all of a sudden, a couple guys get hurt, I started the first six or seven games of the season right off the bat. It scared me to death."

HE SAID IT: Williams, on the 8-1 Celtics: "They're a great team. You know, they have a group of guys who know their roles one through 10. They come in, they do their job and gets stops. They're well-coached. They hold everybody accountable. That's what it takes to be a championship team."

HE SAID IT II: Jazz forward Carlos Boozer: "We were all out there playing. I think, obviously, we tried to do the best job we could. ...

But they took it to us."

e-mail: tbuckley@desnews.com

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