Clippers guard Mo Williams didn't miss a step returning from a toe… (Allen j. Schaben / Los Angeles…)
MINNEAPOLIS — It was as if Mo Williams had never been out, as if he hadn't missed the last 11 games because of a sprained left big toe.
Williams scored 14 points off the bench on six-for-11 shooting, two for four on three-pointers Thursday night in the 95-82 victory over Minnesota. He also had five assists.
He had not played a game in three weeks, but Williams was the same player he has been for the Clippers all season.
Williams said credit for that goes to Clippers trainer Jasen Powell and his staff.
"Those guys have been tremendous in my recovery," Williams said. "They've been on it every day, twice a day, keeping my cardio there. It was three or four different guys, starting at the top with Jasen. I've been working with them diligently every day, just trying to get back to this point."
Williams last played March 22 at New Orleans.
He entered the game Thursday at the start of the second quarter. Twenty-one seconds later, Williams jacked up his first shot, an 18-foot jumper that missed.
He had a turnover a few seconds later. But that didn't stop Williams, who had seven points in the quarter..
"I know my role on this team," Williams said. "It was just about me making sure when I came back I'm able to perform those duties."
A nice problem to have
With Williams back, Clippers Coach Vinny Del Negro now has a deep backcourt.
It's a given that Chris Paul and Randy Foye will start.
But now Williams wants playing time as the first guard off the bench. Then there is Nick Young, the biggest of all the guards at 6 feet 7, and second-year guard Eric Bledsoe, who has become the energizer and defender for the Clippers.
How does Del Negro plan to rotate five guards?
"They all better play well," Del Negro said. "Whoever is playing well will be out there. So they better play hard and execute. And it's about winning. We'll make it work somehow."
All of the guards played Thursday night.
At times this season, Del Negro has played a 10-man rotation, and now it's possible
that he might look into playing 11.
"We have a little bit of a rotation down right now," Del Negro said. "But now bringing Mo back, things are going to change a little bit. So we just have to work through it as we have all season."