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Utah Jazz notes: Mo Williams ditches thumb splint in warmups

Published March 23, 2013 3:17 pm

Jazz notes • After scoring 23 vs. Spurs, he says he'll go with approach rest of season.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated.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.

Dallas • Mo Williams tried something new Friday night in San Antonio.

Nearly three months after surgery on his right thumb, things still haven't been quite right. The veteran point guard has played nine games with the thumb taped, and for the first eight he'd been quiet.

Prior to Friday's 104-97 overtime loss to the Spurs, Williams took off the splint he usually wears and took his shots barehanded. It was an effort to reacquaint himself with the feeling of the ball. He went through the team's morning shootaround and his pregame regimen this way. He then played with the thumb heavily taped.

The result was Williams' best game post-surgery. He finished with 23 points on 9-of-17 shooting and eight assists. Needless to say, Williams liked the results.

"I'll try that for the rest of the year," he said, "and see if I can at least get a little touch before the game starts."

Williams had his third memorable game against the Spurs this season. In the first, a 110-100 loss on Nov. 3, he scored a season-high 29 points. Then on Dec. 12, despite scoring just eight points, he hit the game-winning 3-pointer.

Williams' performance was particularly noteworthy because it came against one of the league's best point guards, a player coming off an injury of his own. Tony Parker had missed eight games with a sprained left ankle and, at least prior to overtime, he was outdone by Williams.

"Against a guy like him," Williams said, "you've got to be in attack mode. Give a lot of credit to the coaches, they put me in that position. I had a lot of pick-and-roll situation where I could create for my teammates and myself."

Foye's timely assist

The shot of the night for the Jazz on Friday came at the end of regulation when Marvin Williams buried a corner 3-pointer to send the game to overtime.

But the play of the game may have been a second earlier when Randy Foye, the team's most prolific 3-point shooter, considered a shot, but swung the ball over to Williams.

"He made the exact right play," coach Tyrone Corbin said. "The guy ran out at him and he [Marvin Williams] was wide open in the corner. That's who we need to be. ... Just make the right basketball play, and he trusted his teammate, and Randy made the extra pass. It was great."