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Pep Talk Sparks Bulls' Williams

November 10, 2002|From Associated Press

An hour before Saturday night's game, Chicago Bull Coach Bill Cartwright called Jay Williams into his office and shut the door.

His rookie point guard had been struggling, worrying so much about creating shots for everyone else that he was forgetting the game that got him to the NBA.

"He said, 'I just want you to play,' " Williams said.

He definitely got the message. In his best NBA game yet, the No. 2 pick of the draft had a triple-double and made a three-point basket with 34 seconds left to seal the Bulls' 100-93 victory over the New Jersey Nets at Chicago.

"Lately it was hard. I was trying to be the team orchestrator," said Williams, who got the game ball. "[The talk] kind of took a big burden off my chest. I just went out and played."

He finished with 26 points, 13 assists and 14 rebounds, Chicago's first triple-double since Michael Jordan had one in April 1997. Jalen Rose scored 26 points for the Bulls, who ended a four-game losing streak.

Jason Kidd scored 15 of his 25 points in the fourth quarter, but it wasn't enough for the Eastern Conference defending champions, who lost for only the second time. Kidd also had a triple-double with 12 assists and 11 rebounds.

"It's early in the season and we are still trying to find our identity," Kidd said. "We haven't played a great game yet."

But Kidd did his best to keep New Jersey in it. After trailing by as many as 12 points in the fourth quarter, he made two sets of free throws to pull New Jersey within 95-91 with 56 seconds left.

*

Dallas 114, Detroit 75 -- Michael Finley had 25 points, and Steve Nash had 17 points and 10 assists at Dallas to help the Mavericks improve to 6-0, the best start in franchise history.

Eduardo Najera scored 16 points for the Mavericks, the league's only unbeaten team.

Richard Hamilton's 19 points and Clifford Robinson's 13 led the Pistons (5-2), who had been off to their best start since 1996-97.

Dallas Coach Don Nelson's emphasis on improving the team's defense has been producing results. The Pistons shot only 36% (26 for 73) from the field.

*

Portland 95, San Antonio 76 -- Reserve Bonzi Wells scored 19 points and Rasheed Wallace overcame early foul trouble to finish with 18 points, and the Trail Blazers handed the Spurs their first loss in the new SBC Center.

Tim Duncan led the Spurs with 16 points.

*

Boston 105, Minnesota 99 -- Antoine Walker made nine three-point baskets and scored 31 points at Minneapolis, and the Celtics won their fourth game in a row.

Walker made nine of 13 three-point shots. The Celtics made 14 three-pointers, the most in the league this season.

Minnesota's Kevin Garnett had 24 points and 11 rebounds for his seventh double-double in as many games.

*

Washington 93, Cleveland 79 -- Jerry Stackhouse scored 27 points and Michael Jordan had eight of his 12 points in the fourth quarter at Cleveland.

Jordan had eight rebounds and six assists. He played a season-high 31 minutes.

*

Seattle 84, Miami 82 -- Rashard Lewis had 24 points, 10 rebounds and three blocks for Seattle, and Gary Payton scored 20 points, including a key three-pointer late in the fourth quarter at Miami.

Eddie Jones scored 23 points for the Heat, but in the last five seconds he had a potential game-tying shot blocked by Desmond Mason.

*

Indiana 108, Toronto 84 -- Brad Miller scored 23 points at Indianapolis, and the Pacers outscored the Raptors by 37 points in the second half.

The Pacers improved to 5-1, their best start after six NBA games since joining the league for the 1976-77 season. Indiana started four of its first five ABA seasons with a mark of at least 5-1.

*

Milwaukee 110, Philadelphia 105 -- Tim Thomas scored 21 points, including five in overtime, and Ray Allen had 20 points at Milwaukee, ending the 76ers' four-game winning streak.

Allen Iverson led the 76ers with 31 points on 11-for-27 shooting.

*

Denver 84, Memphis 73 -- Rodney White scored 18 of his career-high 22 points in the second quarter for the Nuggets at Denver.

Memphis, which opened last season with eight consecutive losses, dropped to 0-7 to remain the league's only team without a victory. Pau Gasol led the Grizzlies with 21 points.

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