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Thursday, February 6, 2014
D-Will pushes through pain to help lift Nets

By Mike Mazzeo

NEW YORK -- Brooklyn Nets point guard Deron Williams had had enough.

He was playing poorly and desperately wanted to turn his night around.

And that’s exactly what he did.

Deron Williams
Deron Williams scored 16 points after a sluggish start against the Spurs on Thursday night.
After being pulled halfway through the first quarter following an 0-for-4 start from the field, Williams rebounded to hit six of his next seven shots. He finished with 16 points, eight assists and four rebounds on 7-for-14 shooting in the Nets’ 103-89 victory over the short-handed San Antonio Spurs Thursday at Barclays Center.

“I just got in the lane, thought I got fouled a couple times and turned it over,” said Williams, who had 21 points and six assists in Monday night’s win against the Philadelphia 76ers. “And when I turn it over early, I’m conscious of it because I don’t want to turn it over, so I just stopped being aggressive.

“But I just said, ‘What the heck’ and tried to get it going.”

Nets coach Jason Kidd praised Williams, saying, “I think Deron’s energy level is high. He’s starting to get his legs underneath him. I thought he was great tonight.”

Earlier in the day, Charles Barkley had said Williams’ best days are behind him.

Based on what the 29-year-old point guard has shown so far this season, Barkley’s criticisms seem spot-on.

Williams, of course, has a chance to change people’s perception of him.

But he’s going to have to be productive on a consistent basis -- especially against the upper echelon teams in the NBA -- something that hasn’t happened since he was traded to the Nets in February 2011, largely due to injuries.

Williams briefly left Thursday’s game in the second quarter after banging knees with Patty Mills as the Nets point guard attempted a jump shot. He went into the locker room briefly but came back out shortly thereafter and played well.

“I already had a bone bruise on that knee [right knee] already,” Williams said. “Hitting on the one end, and then went down on the 3 and got hit again. And so it was hurting for a minute.”

It seems like Williams, who has been bothered by persistent ankle injuries all season, is always playing through something.

On Monday, he also hurt his knee.

“I think that was my other one,” he joked. “I can’t keep track.

Williams was asked what he thinks the Nets are going to do with the Feb. 20 trade deadline fast approaching.

“I don’t think we’re gonna make any moves. I don’t see us making any moves. But last time I said that, I think I got traded,” Williams joked.