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JAZZ: Williams' aggressive play sparks rally

Published May 27, 2007 4:37 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2007, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Posted: 11:06 PM- Deron Williams' play was one of few bright spots for the Jazz in Games 1 and 2 of the Western Conference finals.

In Game 3, it was the difference in getting Utah back in the series.

Williams scored 31 points and added eight assists and five steals in leading the Jazz to a 109-83 win over San Antonio on Saturday night.

There was little to criticize Williams about in Utah's losses in the first two games of the series. But he took it upon himself to play more aggressively in Game 3, and his teammates followed his lead.

"We said if we attack and be aggressive, good things will happen for this team," said Utah forward Carlos Boozer.

The Jazz fell behind by nine points in the first quarter before rallying behind the play of Williams in the middle quarters. He scored nine points in the second, getting the Jazz within four points at halftime.

"He played good tonight," said Spurs guard Tony Parker. "He was was very aggressive from the beginning of the game. His outside shot was going and he was aggressive in getting everyone involved."

Williams then took over in the third. His two foul shots tied the game 49-49, the first time the game had been knotted up since it was 2-2. He hit a three-pointer and finished the quarter with nine points and three assists.

"Basketball is basketball and people are going to have nights," said Spurs forward Tim Duncan. "He did an excellent job of creating his shot and finding people. When he wasn't passing the ball, he went to the basket."

Williams helped the Jazz pour it on in the fourth. The highlight for him came when he crossed over his buddy, Parker, and hit a 15-footer to put Utah up 99-80 with 4:23 remaining in the game.

Williams, who was fine after leaving the game with a mild shoulder injury in the fourth quarter, was much more pleased with his team earning Saturday's win, rather than the individual accolades thrown his way after Utah's losses in Games 1 and 2.

"I'm having fun right now," Williams said. "I'm just trying to do whatever I can to help my team win."