Inheriting the role of point guard following the trade of Kidd, Williams had another strong game with a career-high 13 assists to go along with eight points and seven rebounds as the Nets beat the Indiana Pacers 102-91 on Saturday night.
The Nets are 2-1 since dealing Kidd, and Williams played well in both victories. In New Jersey's 113-103 loss at Indianapolis on Friday, Williams struggled with five points, four assists and three turnovers.
"Coach told me everyone has a bad game," Williams said. "It's all about how you respond. My main focus was being intense. I tried to play hard on defense and bounce back on offense."
The Nets could potentially have two young point guards when Devin Harris finally joins the lineup. Harris, the key player for the Nets in the Kidd deal, has been sidelined by an ankle sprain.
"It's a potentially great situation," Nets coach Lawrence Frank said. "Let's not overreact. Marcus, the way he is playing is showing he has a very big upside. I know he'll continue to work to get better."
The veterans also played key roles for the Nets.
Danny Granger scored 29 points for the Pacers, who have dropped four of five.
"They were good and they've only played a few games with Marcus Williams," Granger said. "He's not Jason Kidd, obviously, but I think he's going to be a good point guard. When you have wings like Jefferson and Carter, you are always going to be in the game."
Jefferson had the hot hand to start the third, making his first five shots from the field, including a pair of 3-pointers, as the Nets widened the advantage to 64-51. New Jersey finished the quarter with a 78-69 lead as Jefferson had 17 points in the period.
The Nets remained in control throughout the fourth quarter and only a strong period by Granger kept the Pacers in it.
He had 11 of Indiana's 22 points in the quarter, including the Pacers' last basket -- a 3-pointer with 2:22 remaining that cut the Nets lead to 96-91. New Jersey got the final six points of the game at the free-throw line.
"We just couldn't knock down the open shots we had," Pacers coach Jim O'Brien said. "Maybe we were a little leg weary from the back-to-back games."
Jeff Foster and Granger each scored points as the Pacers led 27-24 after one period with Granger's points coming on a pair of 3-point baskets.
The Nets closed out the second quarter on a 12-3 run to take a 50-46 lead at the half. Carter scored the last four points of the period with a pair of free throws followed by a fadeaway jumper with 5 seconds remaining. Carter topped all scorers in the half with 18 points.
- Commenting on the coaching upheaval at Indiana University, his alma mater, Frank said: "I feel bad for the university, going through something like this. I do know Dan Dakich. He's a good friend of mine. Although it's not a situation any coach would want, Dan Dakich will do a great job."
- Harris is still at least a week away from making his New Jersey debut. "He can do everything north-south," Frank said. "He's still working on going east-west with his lateral movement. These ankle sprains can be monsters."
- The Pacers' inactives were Jermaine O'Neal (16 straight games with a knee injury) and Jamaal Tinsley (seven, knee). The win gave the Nets a season-high four-game winning streak at the Izod Center.