Now a star with the Utah Jazz, Williams wouldn’t miss the chance to show Kidd how his own career is coming along.
“I love playing against them, but more than that, we really just needed a win right now, so I came out and gave it all I could,” said Williams, who shook off a deep thigh bruise and scored 34 points and handed out 12 assists to lead the Jazz to a 115-87 rout Thursday night.
“Deron’s had a lot of big games against Dallas,” teammate Kyle Korver said. “Maybe because he’s from there, he really gets up to show then his stuff. He was attacking the basket, pushing the ball, finding all of us. He was doing it all.”
“We got stops, so we could get out and run,” said Korver, who replaced bronchitis-ridden C.J. Miles. “As a shooter, that’s when you get the good looks and I had a lot of them tonight.”
Josh Howard led Dallas with 18 points and Dirk Nowitzki scored 14—needing 20 attempts to get there—but the Mavericks saw their four-game winning streak end. It was Dallas’ first loss since coach Rick Carlisle put Jason Kidd in charge of calling plays.
“It was a butt-whipping and I’m not going to make any excuses,” Carlisle said. “They played great and we just did not. They play well here. That’s been evident for two decades.”
Playing against boyhood idol in Kidd, Williams lacked some off his explosiveness to the basket, but his shooting accuracy and playmaking ability was the difference.
“It’s still a little swollen, but my knee is stable and the doc said it was good to go,” Williams said. “I felt ready, right from the start.”
Williams, who made five 3-pointers and got a technical for arguing a non-call on a possible sixth, repeatedly beat Kidd to get into the lane and sped past him on fast breaks. On one play in the third quarter, Williams had a crossover dribble drive that left Jason Terry sprawled on the floor to the delight of the crowd.
“When he’s dropping 3-point shots, you can’t lay off him and guard his drives,” Brewer said. “He’s almost unstoppable when he’s hot like that.”
The Mavericks looked weary after their hard-fought 104-99 win against Portland the night before, but got within 59-52 on Howard’s three-point play just after halftime. But Williams scored 16 points in the quarter and his three free throws to end the period staked Utah to a 94-66 advantage.
“We knew they were tired playing last night and flying here, so we wanted to get out and run and make it as difficult as we could for them,” Williams said.
The Utah point guard missed Monday?s 105-86 win over Charlotte because of a bruised right quadriceps, but he has often said he relishes facing Kidd. Williams grew up in Dallas watching Kidd during his first stint with the Mavericks in the mid-1990s.
Nowitzki, who has complained that the Jazz get away with physical play at home, was suspended after a flagrant foul on Andrei Kirilenko last season here and then was suspended another contest after a backhand to Matt Harpring?s head in a 97-88 Utah win on Dec. 26.
The Jazz began the game running an extra defender at Nowitzki and leaving a long-range shooter open on the perimeter. The Mavericks started the game 4-for-19 and Utah led by as many as 15 in the first half.
“We just didn’t play any defense,” Kidd said. “We have to address the fact that even if we aren’t making baskets we can still be productive on the defensive end.”
Dallas has lost four in a row in Salt Lake and nine of 11. Carlos Boozer (knee) and Kirilenko (ankle) are still recuperating from operations. More bad news came when reserve point guard Brevin Knight sprained his left thumb and did not return after a five-minute stint in the first half. With all the injuries, the Jazz are battling to stay relevant in the Western Conference playoff race until they get some players back. Utah is using home-court advantage to stay in the race with a 14-1 record against West opponents in Salt Lake City. … The Jazz shot 12-of-26 from 3-point range.