Tom Smart, Deseret News
Deron Williams lies in pain after hurting his wrist in a collision as the Utah Jazz defeat the Los Angeles Lakers 104-99 in game 3.

It wasn't just that Carlos Boozer grabbed nearly every available rebound Friday night and didn't leave many for center Mehmet Okur.

Okur's board numbers have dropped the last two games from the 19 he had a week ago in Game 1 of this second-round series against the Los Angeles Lakers in large part because a sore Achilles tendon is worsening.

"Yeah, I'll be out there," the 6-foot-11 Jazzman said at Saturday's practice about whether he'll play in today's Game 4 at EnergySolutions Arena at 1:30 p.m.

"First couple games, I was able to grab those (rebounds), but now (it's) a little bit sore. Hopefully I'll be fine tomorrow."

Point guard Deron Williams, who fell hard to the floor on a layup attempt thwarted by Laker Ronny Turiaf Friday, bruised the fleshy part of his right palm in the fall but said it was OK Saturday. "Yeah, I'm all right, just landed on my wrist. It's really the pad on my hand," he said, adding there was no swelling.

Okur's Achilles hurts enough it can affect his mental game.

"Yeah, really, sometime I think about my Achilles too much during the game because I wasn't able to jump 100 percent (Friday night), especially at the beginning, so I wasn't able to grab those rebounds," Okur admitted.

He still had seven rebounds Friday night, to go with his 2008 playoff high of 22 points. He had five rebounds and 16 points at Los Angeles in Game 2 last Wednesday.

But as of last Sunday's Game 1 of the series, he'd had six straight double-double playoff games. Since late February, when his game came together, he's had 13 20-plus-point scoring games and 21 double-figure rebounding games in the 23 games starting Feb. 26.

Okur doesn't remember how he hurt the Achilles but says he thinks it's "pulled. I think it was starting to hurt me first-round playoff against Houston, and it got bad and got worse now. I can't even remember how it happened," he said.

"It's been bothering me like four or five days.

"I wasn't able to practice last few days, just play game and get treatments. Feels sore right now, but this is playoffs, so I don't want to miss any games."

Okur's offensive game stayed strong, and he said he was still able to mix in a few dribble-drives, draw some fouls and make his jump shots Friday.

But trying to defend the Lakers' 7-foot Pau Gasol down low, trying to push him off the low block, is made more difficult by the Achilles. "I say little bit," Okur said. "Not just pushing the players, just also jumping, running. It was sore. But I'm going to get treatment again and get some rest, see how I feel (today)."

Williams has been bounced off the floor as much as anybody as he often drives into traffic in the lane attempting layups and hoping to draw fouls. As he did Friday night, he may lie on the floor long enough to scare those watching, but most of the time, he stays in the games.

"You've got to get back up," he said. "You stay down for a second, but you've got to play basketball.

"I like to play basketball. I don't like to sit out. I don't like to miss time."

He's been called tough by coach Jerry Sloan and by his teammates, and he has those "No guts, no glory" tattoos on his arms, but he doesn't talk much about it. "It's just me. It's my nature," Williams said. "If it ain't broke, and it's not bleeding, I'm playing."

He grew up like that. "I was always an active kid, used to getting hurt, used to falling off things," he said. "It's not a big deal."


E-mail: lham@desnews.com