Williams produced a career-high-tying 17 points, six rebounds and five blocked shots in the 122-117 victory on the road. He finished the contest by shooting 8-of-10 from the field in 18 minutes and 42 seconds of work off the bench.
His five blocks were also a career high.
The 15th pick became just the second player ever to record at least 17 points and five blocks in 20 minutes or fewer in a game (Herb Williams, March 1983). He is the first Hornets rookie with five blocks since Bismack Biyombo in April 2012.
Hornets coach Steve Clifford explained what he brought to the game.
His rim-protection, inside play and some good screening. He is very poised. He has played in a lot of big games in his career but he is very poised on the floor and he did a really good job.
Williams was used sparingly to begin the season but has played a major role with the team of late. He is averaging 7.4 points, 6.5 rebounds and 1.2 blocks on 59.3% shooting from the field in 12 games since Dec. 26. Included in that stretch: 17 points and 13 rebounds on Dec 29.
The Hornets have opted to keep Williams in the NBA G League for much of the season. The team viewed the assignments as a great opportunity for Williams to adjust to the competition and learn the types of coverages at the position.
Williams responded by averaging 22.2 points, 12.2 rebounds and 1.8 blocks on 64.8% shooting in 11 games in Greensboro. He recorded eight double-doubles and produced a monster performance during his last time out on Dec. 22: 29 points and 17 rebounds.
Clifford previously commended Williams for welcoming the chance to play in the G League. It is clear those minutes in Greensboro helped prepare him for his recent opportunity and the rookie is showing what he can provide the team.
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