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Mo Williams makes his return on night another Williams is absent
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

OKLAHOMA CITY — Mo Williams will return to the Jazz lineup Friday night, one week after landing awkwardly while defending a 3-point attempt by Sacramento's Aaron Brooks.

Williams, who averaged 13.8 points and 6.5 assists in his 12 games for the Jazz, could only watch the Jazz as they went two and three without him, including wins over Denver and New Orleans.

"It's been terrible," Williams said. "I hate watching."

Friday will be a night of the Jazz trading Williamses, as starting small forward Marvin Williams will be out with concussion symptoms.

He said his foot is "not 100 [percent], but it's good enough to go out and play."

Williams' return brings to a head the simmering question of how coach Tyrone Corbin will utilize three effective veteran point guards. Earl Watson returned from April knee surgery the same game Williams was injured, and Jamaal Tinsley has bee tremendous in three starts.

"Jamaal and Earl did a great job filling in those minutes," Corbin said, "and the guys responded really well and it's great to have another one of our guys back."

A side benefit of the time away, for Williams, is that his right thumb, which he injured and reinjured in back-to-back games during the Jazz's East Coast road trip earlier this month got extra time to heal.

"Definitely helped my thumb," he said.

Williams tore a ligament in the right thumb in 2007 and played the entire year with a hard cast on his right hand. While he sported nothing so severe with his latest injury, he said it would be a relief to play without his thumb taped, which he said affected his performance.

"I hate that tape, man," he said. "That tape affects me. I hate tape on my hand, I always have."

— Bill Oram

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