VIDEO: Deron Williams nails a corner three to give the Mavericks a 117-116 overtime win over the Kings
Deron Williams is really back now.
Back to playing major minutes, back in the Dallas starting lineup and back to celebrating, all thanks to the 3-pointer at the buzzer of the second overtime that gave the Mavericks a 117-116 victory over the Kings on Tuesday night.
Williams had officially returned two games before after missing four consecutive outings with a strained left hamstring. But those two were for 20 minutes against the Heat and 21 against the Pelicans, and in a reserve role.
He went back into the opening lineup Tuesday, then played 43 minutes and hit 10 of 18 shots, including three of six behind the arc. And then he capped the night off in style.
D-Will had an open look, but only after a lot of work.
He caught the inbounds pass from Devin Harris while on the move and facing the Kings bench, with his back to the basket. Williams turned, gave a pump fake that sent Rudy Gay flying past, put his right foot into two-point territory, and pulled it back behind the line, the difference between the win and a third overtime.
Only after all that did Williams step into the hero role. The shot itself wasn’t terribly difficult. Getting there, though, was a challenge.
The Mavericks trailed by as many as seven points in the second overtime before rallying. The Kings did their part when Darren Collison, a former Dallas point guard, air balled a 15-footer with about two seconds remaining, causing a 24-second violation with 2.3 seconds remaining and giving the current Dallas point guard the chance he would need.
The result was a 22nd consecutive loss for the Kings in Dallas.
Anything that keeps the encouraging start going in Dallas is important. It wasn’t against a top opponent — the Kings are tracking to the lottery and were playing the second night of a back-to-back — and it wasn’t as part of a stretch drive to keep a playoff spot. But another resilient moment in a season when many expected the Mavericks to fall off the radar is meaningful.
Try telling the Mavs the game wasn’t against a top opponent or that it wasn’t late in the season. They partied like it was April against the Warriors.
Williams, falling backward after the release, crashed into Kings coach George Karl, toppling Karl as Williams hit the floor on his back. his arms help up in celebration. The Mavericks on the court piled on top of Williams, and then the Mavericks charging from the bench at the other end did the same.
It would have been a good night for Williams anyway. To have that kind of finish, taking out the Kings in general and literally taking out Karl, to create that kind of scrum on the court could end up being a season highlight for the Mavs. Williams had to work hard for the moment. He didn’t waste it. Three Horrys.