Deron Williams had little voice to talk with afterward, due to a cold or something. His back was stiff from spasms he'd suffered in Saturday night's game.
When former Ute star Andrew Bogut sent him to the floor in the second quarter, he banged his right elbow but made the free throws. He went to the locker room during the game and got his sore ankle retaped.
"Just tweaked it a little bit," he said.
"That's what happens when you go to the basket," Williams shrugged of getting bounced around Monday night by the Milwaukee Bucks at EnergySolutions Arena.
Williams bounced back in the best way possible, scoring 33 points, 24 of them in the second half, as the Utah Jazz came from behind to win 98-87, their fourth straight victory.
He set career highs for both made free throws (16) and attempts (20). It was the most free-throw makes by a Jazz player in nearly two years, since Andrei Kirilenko made 16 against Sacramento on Feb. 3, 2006. At the same time, Williams shot 6-for-6 from the field in the second half, including a 3-pointer.
The Jazz led or were close most of the first three quarters, but they fell behind 70-66, and though Ronnie Brewer got a layup to cut it to two, Williams decided enough was enough.
"Yeah, I just thought we were struggling a little bit scoring the ball," he said of the way he poured in 11 points over a six-plus minute span the last three seconds of the third period and the first 6:04 minutes of the fourth.
Williams and Paul Millsap totaled all the points in an 18-2 Jazz run in that six minutes and seven seconds that made all the difference in Utah's victory.
"He was setting screens for me, getting open," Williams said of Millsap. whose seven-point contribution was augmented by three rebounds. Williams also had a rebound, two steals and two turnovers during the decisive run.
"I was finding him," Williams said of Millsap. "He was getting to the free-throw line and was hitting his free throws."
"I knew we had to pull away," said Millsap, "because they're a dangerous team. We stepped out there with intensity and the willpower to just want to win the game.
"If you don't help (defend Williams)," said Millsap of opponents, "he is just going to dish it out to the open man, and that's one good thing about him when you are on the floor is you have to be ready all the time because he will give it to you."
Williams said his big second half came because the Jazz improved their defense dramatically, and his big men Millsap, Mehmet Okur and Carlos Boozer, "did a great job of setting ball screens for me, getting me open. I was able to get to the lane and either draw contact or finish at the rim.
"I had my confidence in my shot and getting to the basket, so I just tried to keep being aggressive, aggressive. When the lane opens up that much, you've got to take it either go to the basket or kick it out to your teammates."
Making 5-for-5 free throws in the first half also primed his shot, which was just 2-for-8 in the first half.Defensively in the second half, "We just helped each other out. We were talking on defense. we had a lot more energy, a lot more intensity, a lot of deflections, a lot of steals. I thought our anticipation was good in the fourth quarter, and that led to helping our offense," said Williams.
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