D-Will relishes win against former club

November, 5, 2013
11/05/13
11:21
PM ET
NEW YORK -- Brooklyn Nets point guard Deron Williams finally won a game against his former team -- and he was very happy about it.

[+] EnlargeDeron Williams
Anthony Gruppuso/USA TODAY SportsDeron Williams looked stronger in limited minutes against the Jazz.
“It’s good to finally beat them,” Williams said after the Nets handily defeated the Utah Jazz, 104-88, Tuesday at Barclays Center. “It’s a rebuilding year for them, but I’m definitely happy to beat them.”

Williams had been 0-4 in his career against the Jazz, who traded him to the Nets on Feb. 23, 2011.

He played a big part in the win, scoring 10 points and dishing out eight assists in 24 minutes. Williams, who came into the game shooting 36 percent from the field, connected on four of his six shots. With the outcome already in hand, he did not have to play in the fourth quarter.

“I thought Deron was strong. He looked really good,” forward Kevin Garnett said. “I thought he was very decisive in what he wanted to do. He got us into sets and kept pushing the ball. He was very active in timeouts, and that’s the D-Will we’re going to need throughout the year.”

Williams is still trying to get fully healthy after missing nearly all of the preseason due to a sprained right ankle. On Tuesday, he looked as though his legs were finally getting under him. With 4:45 left in the third quarter, Williams drove into the lane and flipped up a floater that gave the Nets a 78-54 lead.

“I appreciate your concern for my health,” Williams said, declining to get into his personal performance. “But this was a good win for us as a team.

“I felt like our offense was feeling pretty good, we pushed the tempo. We were able to get what we wanted on the offensive end. And on the defensive end, we played better.”

• Forward Andrei Kirilenko (back spams) was extremely efficient, finishing 3-for-3 from the field and snagging five rebounds in a season-high 17 minutes.

“Right now we don’t have a set number of minutes, but you can see it’s increasing,” he said. “It’s getting there.”

It was also Kirilenko’s first victory over his ex-team (1-3).

• The Nets shot better than 50 percent from the field for the first time this season. ... They had six players score in double figures, led by center Brook Lopez’s 27 points, the highest total for anyone on the team this season. ... No Brooklyn player broke the 30-minute threshold. All 13 active players logged at least 10 minutes. ... The Nets are 2-0 this season when scoring more than 100 points. ... The Nets led by as many as 26 points, a season-high.

Mike Mazzeo

ESPN New York Writer

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Joe Johnson
PTS AST STL MIN
16.5 3.8 0.9 35.0
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsK. Garnett 7.6
AssistsD. Williams 6.6
StealsJ. Jack 1.1
BlocksB. Lopez 1.5