Williams returns, leads Jazz past Grizzlies

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Deron Williams had 11 points and 15 assists in his return to the lineup, leading the Utah Jazz to a 117-100 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies on Wednesday night.

Paul Millsap, who started in place of the injured Carlos Boozer, led Utah with a season-high 24 points and 16 rebounds. Mehmet Okur and Ronnie Brewer each added 21 points as the Jazz got back on the winning track in their second game of a four-game homestand.

Rudy Gay broke out of a shooting slump to score 27 points and O.J. Mayo had 22 on 10-of-15 shooting, but the Grizzlies lost their fourth straight and their eighth in nine games.

After sitting comfortably in his warmups and watching the Utah blowout, Williams was rushed back into the game after an 8-0 Memphis run cut a 24-point Jazz advantage to 97-81 early in the final period. When he finally left the court for good, Williams had helped Utah extend its advantage to 113-86 and exited to a loud ovation.

Williams missed seven straight games with a sprained left ankle he sustained in the preseason. He had played only twice this season, on Nov. 11 and 12, before he was sidelined again.

Williams played 29 minutes and moved around the court well but often grimaced and stretched awkwardly to try and keep his ankle loose during breaks in the action. When he wasn't in the game, Williams had his ankle wrapped in an ice pack.

Memphis, which ranks 25th in shooting percentage, had no problem finding the range but couldn't keep the Jazz off the boards and out of the passing lanes. The Jazz outrebounded the Grizzlies 44-30 and scored 28 points off Memphis' 16 turnovers.

Utah began a new home-court winning streak after the Chicago Bulls stunned the Jazz on last-second shot in a 101-100 upset Monday. The Jazz had won 14 straight and 33 of 34 at EnergySolutions Arena before the loss.

Though Utah's injured list included Boozer, Kyle Korver, Brevin Knight and Jarron Collins, Millsap and Okur made sure they weren't missed. Millsap grabbed seven of his 16 rebounds on the offensive end and finished five of Utah's possessions with dunks.

Since returning from Turkey to see his ailing father and rest his own back problems, Okur has averaged 16.4 points and shot better than 60 percent.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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