- Mike Mazzeo, ESPN Staff Writer
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Brooklyn Nets point guard Deron Williams, playing in a game for the first time since suffering a sprained right ankle during an offseason workout in Utah, scored 11 points in 10 minutes during the team's 108-87 victory against the Heat on Friday night in Miami.
"Felt pretty good," Williams said. "Happy to be back out there, that's for sure. I feel like part of the team. I've been missing basketball. I love watching my guys play, but I'm sick of watching them play at the same time, when I'm not out there. I want to be out there. I was happy to be out there with them. I was excited. It was another step in the right direction. Hopefully everything will be good for Cleveland."
The 29-year-old veteran hit three consecutive 3-pointers during a 1:07 span in the first quarter, then gave a salute as he sat on the bench for a brief rest.
He finished 4-for-5 from the field -- testing his ankle during a driving runner in the second quarter -- while adding two assists and a steal.
Williams headed to the locker room to have his ankle iced after reaching his minutes limit with 9 minutes remaining in the second.
"I've been working out so hard, I wasn't never worried about my wind," Williams said. "I got a little tired, but nothing bad. I wasn't huffing and puffing, didn't have to touch my knees. I think the practice tomorrow will be tougher than the game."
On Sunday, Williams seemed frustrated with how his recovery was going. But following an off day, he participated in five-on-five half-court contact drills Tuesday, had no setbacks after going through a shootaround Wednesday and practiced fully for the first time Thursday.
Williams said his goal is to play in the team's regular-season opener Wednesday against the Cavaliers in Cleveland.
"I should be [ready], you know," he said. "We have some tough practices coming up, so that will kind of be the telling tale. I only played [10 minutes] today and didn't do a lot. So we'll see. I still need to be able to get by people, a little more comfortable getting by people and having my explosiveness back."
Nets coach Jason Kidd said he liked what he saw in Williams.
"He's the engine. He's the one that runs the show here," Kidd said. "The talent that he brings to the table, he's one of the best in the league at his position. He's looked good. Each day he's gotten better and stronger. I thought he went in the right direction tonight. I know he probably wanted to play a little bit more minutes, but we have to phase him in. He's done everything that we've asked. He's gone through every drill. We'll take it one day at a time and see how he feels tomorrow."
Information from ESPN.com's Michael Wallace was used in this report.
16hMarc Stein and Mike Mazzeo
4dIan O'Connor, ESPN Senior Writer