After posting one of their best games of the season offensively without Williams, the Jazz may again be without their star point guard as they try to continue their dominance of the Grizzlies in the finale of a home-and-home series Friday night.
Though Williams was sidelined with a sprained right wrist, Utah (19-16) set a season high with 39 assists and shot 56.8 percent in a 117-94 win over Memphis (17-17) on Wednesday night.
“When you pass the ball, and share, you get a lot of easy baskets,” said Jazz coach Jerry Sloan, whose team won for the first time in four games.
It was Utah’s 11th straight win over Memphis, the longest streak of any NBA team against the Grizzlies. The Jazz are averaging 112.5 points while shooting 53.2 percent from the field and 43.2 percent from 3-point range during that run.
Williams has missed two of those contests. Utah won 103-94 on Nov. 22, 2008, the other game he sat out.
Williams, averaging 19.5 points and 9.8 assists, is expected to be a gametime decision.
Utah is 2-1 when Williams is absent. He missed two games in November due to personal reasons.
This may be an ideal opportunity for the Jazz to give Williams some more rest. He has 31 assists in his last two road games against the Grizzlies, but has also committed 15 turnovers.
“We have been struggling and we weren’t having fun, just playing tight and anxious trying to make things happen. Everybody was frustrated,” Miles said.
The Jazz are trying to win consecutive games for the third time over the past month. They’ve dropped three of four on the road.
Memphis has averaged 111.5 points in winning its last four at home. The Grizzlies, though, had scored 100 points more in eight straight games before shooting 40.5 percent against the Jazz.
“If you weren’t happy by the whoopin’ that you got … then you’ll come back and compete the next game,” Memphis coach Lionel Hollins said.
After winning seven of eight, the Grizzlies seemed to run out of gas in the finale of a four-game road trip.