The Utah Jazz acquired Mo Williams in the offseason for his leadership and distribution skills. Now they need him to get the team out of an early-season funk, as the Jazz visit the Memphis Grizzlies Monday.
Williams leads Utah with 22.0 points and 6.3 assists per game, and poured in 29 during a 110-100 loss at San Antonio on Saturday. Williams handed out a season-best nine assists, shot a perfect 9-for-9 from the free throw line and 2-for-2 from 3-point range.
Paul Millsap finished with 17 points and 10 boards for the Jazz, who committed 17 turnovers and are winless (0-2) on a three-game road trip.
Al Jefferson and Gordon Hayward scored 16 and 15 points, respectively, in a losing cause. Utah opened the season with a win versus Dallas, but have dropped back-to-back decisions against New Orleans and San Antonio.
"They're a good team and they're a great team in their home building," Jazz head coach Tyrone Corbin said of the Spurs.
Corbin's squad will return to Salt Lake City after tonight's game for a Wednesday showdown with Kobe Bryant, Dwight Howard and the Los Angeles Lakers.
Memphis kicks off its home schedule tonight and is 3-14 all-time in those games. The team is riding an 11-game winning streak as the host in the regular season, last losing at FedEx Forum in that time on March 16, 2012 versus Toronto.
The Grizzlies opened the new campaign with a road loss against the Los Angeles Clippers, then evened their mark with Friday's 104-94 win over Golden State. Mike Conley registered 21 points, seven assists and five steals, while Marc Gasol chipped in 21 points and six boards.
Rudy Gay had 18 points and Zach Randolph posted his second straight double- double with 15 points and 14 rebounds for Memphis, which will play three of its next four games at home and can set a franchise record for consecutive wins as the host tonight.
"We have to continue to play together and get better," Randolph said after the win against the Warriors. "Some nights it's going to be tough, but tonight everybody contributed."
Memphis clinched the fourth seed in the Western Conference a season ago and went 17-3 when scoring 100 points in 2011-12. The Grizzlies hit the century mark in points just once against Utah last season, losing two of the three meetings between the teams.
The Jazz are 15-4 in the past 19 matchups with Memphis. Both teams have split the previous 14 encounters in the Volunteer State.