"He played very well, " Jazz coach Quin Snyder said after his team had dropped to 6-6 on the year. "There was a determination he had, and I'm sure playing against your old team, there's some motivation on some level."
Against the Jazz on Friday, Williams was a crucial piece in Dallas' attack. In the fourth quarter, he handed out three assists and knocked down a 3-pointer to kill off any hope of a Jazz rally.
"When I got here and talked to Coach, he told me that the ball was going to be in my hands, " Williams said. "I know Monta [Ellis] had the ball a lot last year, so I kind of filled a little bit of that role. It's a good feeling to have the ball in your hands at the end of games and not only make plays for myself, but for my teammates."
Frustrated by his time with the Nets, Williams took a buyout and a pay cut to join his hometown Mavericks for a chance to resurrect his career. So far, Williams is averaging 13.8 points and 5.6 assists per game for a Dallas team that has reeled off six straight wins.
"He is working extremely hard, " Carlisle said. "It's been an unusual situation because of the training camp nagging injuries. But he is doing the work and the dividends are showing. We have the kind of team where everyone has to work extremely hard to keep their edge and keep everything the way it needs to be. He is setting a really strong example."
The Jazz were outscored 35-17 in the second quarter Friday and Snyder expects his team to bounce back after a disappointing showing. "We've bounced back from everything and it's another situation that we need to learn from, " he said. "We just need to understand that second quarter impacted the rest of the game tremendously and it's hard to have to spend that much energy like we did to get back into the game and close it out. It's very difficult." … The Jazz did not practice Saturday after returning home from Dallas. … The team has now played nine of its first 12 games on the road, but the schedule will soon balance out, with eight of their next 12 coming at Vivint Arena.