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Utah Jazz: Mo Williams continues to progress after thumb injury

Published March 12, 2013 2:51 pm

Jazz notes • 20-point outing vs. Pistons good 'confidence-wise' he says
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Jazz point guard Mo Williams isn't 100 percent, but he's getting there.

Williams missed 32 games after suffering a thumb injury on Dec. 22. He played his best game since returning on Monday night, when Utah pulled away late during a 103-90 victory over Detroit.

Williams finished with 20 points and six assists. He made nine of his 14 field-goal attempts.

"This was a good game for me, confidence-wise," Williams said. "... I want to be aggressive. I want to feel confident. So it was good. I got some [shots] to fall, and that opened open up some things for me. We'll try to take the momentum and move on."

Williams admits he still has to lose "about six pounds so I can move the way I want," but he made progress against Detroit.

"I felt a little faster," he said. "I felt like I was getting down the court when I wanted to and getting to the rim and finishing layups. ...

"I felt my first step was kind of there. I was able to get by my man."

Williams scored seven points in the final 5:31 against the Pistons, including a 3-pointer that gave the Jazz a 91-82 lead.

"After Mo got himself going," said coach Tyrone Corbin, "I thought he finished the game pretty good."

'We're in the fight'

With 18 games left, the Jazz remain in a battle with Golden State, Houston, the Los Angeles Lakers and Dallas for one of the final three playoff berths in the Western Conference.

The Jazz have lost seven of their last nine games.

Still, Corbin said, "We're in the fight. ... We've got a chance to move up in the playoff picture and, if we take care of our business, we'll be fine. It's no time to panic."

The Jazz's next step is a difficult one. They visit Oklahoma City on Wednesday night in search of their first road win since Feb. 12.

"I love it," Corbin said. "I mean, you go in there against one of the best teams in the league — maybe the best team in the league. It should be a good test for us.

"We aren't satisfied with the way we've been playing on the road, and we know this is a great opponent. It's going to be a tough game on their home floor, but we're looking forward to it."

Tyrell Corbin, SLCC to nationals

Corbin heard some exciting news Tuesday, when he learned his son's team received an at-large bid to the national junior college tournament in Hutchinson, Kansas, next week.

Tyrell Corbin is a point guard at Salt Lake Community College, which will play Eastern Oklahoma State in the first round on March 19.

Tyrell starred at West High School and went to UC-Davis for one year before going to SLCC this season. He averages 10.5 points and a team-leading 4.5 assists.

"It's a great accomplishment," Tyrone Corbin said. " ... He's had a great, great time. Coach [Todd] Phillips has made him feel very welcome, and he's enjoying the school. It's been great for him to be back home. It's been a good experience for him."

Tyrell Corbin is looking to sign at another four-year school at some point and "has talked to a few people," according to his father.

"... But he's waiting on the sexy girl right now," Tyrone Corbin joked. "So we'll see."