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Jazz notes: Marvin Williams' return provides a boost

Published November 14, 2013 3:13 pm

Jazz notes • He's first of the team's walking wounded to return.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated.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.

The Jazz are no longer winless thanks, in large part, to Marvin Williams.

Utah is 1-8 heading into Friday night's game against San Antonio after a 111-105 victory over New Orleans.

In Wednesday night's comeback win over the Pelicans, Williams scored eight of his 12 points in the final 7:21. His 3-pointer with 1:22 remaining gave the Jazz a 104-100 lead.

It was only Williams' fourth game of the season, after undergoing Achilles surgery last summer. In his previous three games, he scored a total of nine points on 3-for-11 shooting.

Before the Jazz practiced Thursday morning, coach Tyrone Corbin said, "As Marvin gets more and more healthy and feels good about his body and assured he is OK, he will get better every time out. … I thought he did a great job for us."

Richard Jefferson, who scored eight of his 22 points in the fourth quarter against New Orleans, also praised Williams' performance.

"When Marvin plays better, it makes it easier for [everyone]," Jefferson said. "And when he gets back all the way, it's going to steamroll because we have a hard-working team here."

Down the stretch against the Pelicans, Corbin used Williams at power forward. He was able to get some open looks as the defense reacted to drives by his teammates.

"He can space the floor," Corbin said. "… Big guys are taught, once the ball goes to the basket, they go to the basket, too. So Marvin will space the floor and allow the [other] guys a little more room."

Williams is one of five players who started the season with injuries. The others include Brandon Rush, Jeremy Evans, Trey Burke and Andris Biedrins. None of them played against New Orleans.

According to Jefferson, Williams' return is a signal of better things to come.

"I can't stress this enough," he said. "As Marvin gets back, as Brandon gets back, as Jeremy gets back, as Trey gets back and as Andris gets back, we're going to become a more complete team."

John Stockton, author

Hall of Famer John Stockton will be in Utah on Friday and Saturday to promote his recently released book, "Assisted."

Stockton will attend a news conference at 9:30 a.m. at EnergySolutions Arena. He will sign copies of his book at the arena's Fanzz store starting at 11 a.m.

On Saturday, Stockton will hold another signing at Deseret Book on South Temple starting at 2:30 p.m.

"Great guy, great competitor, competed at everything, wanted to be first," said Corbin, a former teammate of Stockton. "That's what made him who he was on the floor. He wanted to be the best."

Is Corbin surprised Stockton wrote a book?

"There is a lot of interest in who he is and how he became the player — the person — he is," Corbin said. "It's not his personality to want that kind of exposure, but I think it's a great thing to do — to share his life with the world."