MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- After an ankle injury sidelined him for the first 12 games of the season, Deron Williams is starting to like the one of the NBA's best again.
"We came out last game without a lot of energy," Williams said of a 114-93 loss Tuesday at Oklahoma City. "I'm still dwelling on that loss. I'll dwell on that loss all season. It was a loss we shouldn't have had."
It was also a lost that inspired Williams, whose steady play helped the Jazz win their seventh straight against the reeling Grizzlies. Memphis lost its fifth consecutive and for the 13th time in 15 games.
"That game (against Oklahoma City) left a bad taste in our mouths," Brewer said. "We couldn't stay down because we had a young team in the Grizzlies."
Grizzlies forward Darius Miles, who signed a 10-day contract Saturday, made his 10th appearance of the season Friday, placing the remaining $18 million of his salary back on Portland's payroll. The Trail Blazers sent out an e-mail earlier this month warning of possible legal action against any team signing the free agent, but the Grizzlies signed Miles.
He finished with 10 points and seven rebounds in 14 minutes.
Utah led 26-21 at the end of the first quarter and never trailed the rest of the game. But Memphis trimmed a 20-point deficit in the third quarter to five, 96-91, late in the fourth.
Williams, though, prevented a comeback.
With 1:23 left, Williams made a pull-up 3-pointer for a 99-91 advantage and Memphis misfired on its final three shots of the game.
"We were still in the game late," Grizzlies coach Marc Iavaroni said. "They made a big 3-pointer against our zone with the shot clock running out. I thought that was a huge basket."
Memphis forward Rudy Gay, averaging 18.8 points per game, continued his recent slump. He was held to five points and has scored only 15 points in the past two games.
"At times it's frustrating," Gay said of his limited touches. "But that's just part of the game and I'll play through it."
His teammates seem to be losing their patience, too, especially as the losses mount.
"Everybody's frustrated," Gasol said. "If somebody's not frustrated, then they have a problem. Everybody should be frustrated."
The Grizzlies led 5-2 at the start, a rarity during their five-game losing streak. Memphis had not held a lead of more than one point during the previous four games.
But Utah went on a 13-0 run to build a 19-9 lead. Williams had seven points during the run. The Grizzlies got no closer than five points in the first half.
Gay, held to 10 points in a loss to Cleveland Tuesday, had just four points in the first two quarters. Mayo, held to a season-low six points against Cleveland, had 11 points before halftime.
"We're one of the youngest teams in the league," Mayo said. "But we're not one of the hardest-playing teams in the league. We have to come out playing hard and not wait to be down 10 or 15 points."
|Darius Miles discovers it's tough to stay in front of Deron Williams, who scores 27. (Getty Images)|
|Utah (24-16) «||26||28||26||21||101|
|UTA:D. Williams 27 Pts
UTA:M. Okur 8 Reb
UTA:D. Williams 12 Ast
|MEM:O. Mayo 23 Pts
MEM:M. Gasol 10 Reb
MEM:M. Gasol 3 Ast
|Players of the Game|
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|D. Williams, PG||44||8-15||7-8||0||12||1||27|
|R. Brewer, SG||43||9-13||2-2||3||0||1||21|
|A. Kirilenko, SF||31||5-7||3-6||6||4||2||13|
|M. Okur, C||31||4-10||4-4||8||0||4||13|
|C. Miles, SG||19||1-5||0-0||3||2||1||2|
|K. Korver, SF||29||3-8||2-5||4||1||3||9|
|M. Harpring, SF||16||5-8||2-2||1||2||2||12|
|J. Collins, C||16||1-1||0-0||5||1||5||2|
|B. Knight, PG||9||1-2||0-0||2||1||1||2|
|K. Koufos, C||2||0-2||0-0||1||0||2||0|
|C. Boozer, PF||Did Not Play|
|R. Price, PG||Did Not Play|
|P. Millsap, PF||Did Not Play|
|M. Almond, SG||Did Not Play|
|K. Fesenko, C||Did Not Play|
|Complete Box Score|
|O. Mayo, SG||35||9-21||4-4||4||2||0||23|
|M. Gasol, C||34||5-8||2-2||10||3||5||12|
|R. Gay, SG||30||1-5||3-4||2||0||4||5|
|K. Lowry, SG||19||1-7||2-2||3||2||3||4|
|D. Arthur, PF||5||0-0||0-0||0||1||2||0|
|H. Warrick, PF||34||7-11||1-3||5||2||2||15|
|M. Conley, PG||29||2-6||10-12||0||2||0||15|
|G. Buckner, SG||23||0-4||0-0||3||1||4||0|
|M. Jaric, SF||17||2-5||2-2||1||2||1||7|
|D. Miles, SF||14||5-8||0-0||7||0||3||10|
|S. Francis, PG||Did Not Play|
|Q. Ross, SF||Did Not Play|
|D. Milicic, PF||Did Not Play|
|H. Haddadi, C||Did Not Play|
|Complete Box Score|