Williams' 3 at buzzer lifts Jazz over Spurs 99-96

Published on NewsOK Modified: December 13, 2012 at 1:38 am •  Published: December 13, 2012
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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Mo Williams had just missed from 3-point range with 9.9 seconds left and the game tied against Western Conference nemesis San Antonio.

Instead of getting grief from his coach, Williams got another green light.

"Coach told me don't worry about it. You'll make the next one," Williams said.

He did.

Williams hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer to lift the Utah Jazz to a 99-96 victory Wednesday night that snapped the Spurs' five-game winning streak.

"It showed how much my teammates believe in me, showed how much the coaches believe in me," Williams said.

Now Utah players believe in their team, having knocked off the Lakers in Los Angeles on Sunday and a Spurs team that swept them out of the playoffs last season. It was the first time since 1997 that the Jazz beat both in back-to-back games.

"We're on a mission," Williams said. "We want to be good. We don't know our ceiling yet."

Paul Millsap led Utah with 24 points and 12 rebounds, Al Jefferson scored 21 and reserve Gordon Hayward added 19.

The Jazz trailed by eight with a little more than 4 minutes remaining. Williams' winning shot was his only 3-pointer of the night and he finished with eight points on 3-for-9 shooting.

Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said Williams was able to get off the final shot because of a "huge" defensive error by Danny Green when the Jazz inbounded the ball with 6.7 seconds left.

"You got to make him drive with that amount of time," Popovich said. "That's why we put a bigger guy on Mo at the end so he couldn't get a shot off. You don't step off Mo Williams. What do you think he's going to do with two seconds on the clock? Instead of getting into him, he backed off. Huge defensive error."

After draining the shot, Williams looked up to make sure there was no time left then took off running toward the other end of the court only to be mobbed by teammates.

"It was amazing," said Millsap, who grabbed the key offensive rebound after Williams' first miss. "It was a big win for us, a big win for our fans, a big win for our whole organization."

Tim Duncan and Tony Parker each scored 22 points to lead the Spurs, who swept the Jazz out of the playoffs in the first round and had won 11 of the last 12 meetings.

Green's 19-footer gave the Spurs a 96-94 lead and Millsap tied it with 40 seconds left.

While Duncan and Parker have been key for the Spurs, who entered Wednesday with an 11-2 road record, neither could make the shot at the end. Both missed long outside shots in the final 75 seconds as the Jazz improved to 9-1 at home.

"It was disappointing down the stretch," said Duncan, who also had 21 rebounds and six blocks. "Individually I made too many mistakes. I missed a jumper on the baseline I thought was down. Al (Jefferson) made a great play on the steal and layup. Just too many mistakes down the stretch that we couldn't recover from."

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