Williams' 15 lift Jazz over Thunder 97-81
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Utah has been looking for players to hit outside shots and get the Jazz off to a fast start.
Mo Williams and Marvin Williams did just that, combining for 18 first-quarter points on 6-of-8 shooting in Friday night's 97-81 preseason victory over Oklahoma City.
"Obviously our first game is going to be a little crazy. I think we made tremendous strides from our last game offensively and defensively," Marvin Williams said of rebounding from a road loss Monday to Golden State.
Utah's first field goal came on Marvin Williams' 3-pointer, and Mo Williams made his first four shots as the Jazz led by as many as 10 in the opening quarter.
It was Mo Williams' home debut since being acquired in a multiteam trade this summer — nine years after the Jazz drafted him in the second round in 2003.
"It wasn't odd at all," Mo Williams said of playing for the Jazz again at home. "It felt really good. It's the same people that were here when I was here."
He was referring to some of the fans, and head coach Tyrone Corbin, who was just coming on board as an assistant when Williams was leaving for Milwaukee.
Corbin was glad to have him back.
"The way he can push the ball and ... see where different guys will be and ... how we follow (his pace), I think he's continued to grow with this team," Corbin said.
Mo Williams finished with 15 points in 23 minutes to lead the Jazz.
Gordon Hayward added 13 despite an 0-for-6 start while Al Jefferson had 12 points. Reserve Enes Kanter had 12 points and 12 rebounds.
Oklahoma City was without numerous key players, but hurt itself with 21 turnovers that led to 27 Utah points.
"The game wasn't a good game for us," said Oklahoma City coach Scott Brooks, who still has several starters out and sat point guard Russell Westbrook so he could take a look at others. "There was no doubt we turned the ball over too many times, we took too many bad shots."
He was pleased, though, with the effort of 6-11 forward Perry Jones, who played 30 minutes and led Oklahoma City with 14 points on 6 of 11 shooting.
"He is a versatile guy," Brooks said. "He can score inside, he can score outside and he has a good feel for the game, but with that being said, he still has a learning curve that will take place."
Forward Kevin Durant played only 19 minutes and finished with nine points, three assists, two rebounds and a blocked shot.
Marvin Williams, acquired in a trade with Atlanta, had the early matchup against Durant.
"It's a tough assignment," said forward Derrick Favors, who started for Utah in place of Paul Millsap. "You can't stop (Durant) from scoring but you can make it tough. He did that."