SALT LAKE CITY -- Welcome back to the Utah Jazz, Mo Williams.
The former Jazz second-round draft pick, who returned in a draft-night trade earlier this summer, made his official return to EnergySolutions Arena -- as a Jazzman -- Friday night. The veteran point guard scored 15 points on 6-for-7 shooting as Utah took down Oklahoma City 97-81 in a preseason game.
Williams, 29, was drafted by the Jazz with the No. 47 overall pick in 2003. By most accounts team officials were enamored with him but the franchise want unwilling to pay the money to keep him, so he signed a deal with Milwaukee after one season in Utah.
After bouncing around the NBA for the next nine season, he has finally come back to where it all began.
After scoring 11 points on 3-for-9 shooting at Golden State on Monday, Williams looked better playing in front of the home crowd.
"It felt really good," he said. "I think it helped me, the comfort level I do have. It's the same people that were here in 2003."
Well, not quite.
But head coach Tyrone Corbin -- then an assistant -- overlapped with Williams briefly and executive vice president Kevin O'Connor was around as general manager.
If Williams was uncomfortable at all Friday, he surely didn't show it. In fact, he scored 10 points in the first quarter, hitting all four shots he took, including a 3-pointer.
"I think he's continuing to grow with this team," Corbin said.
Corbin said he has noticed Utah's younger players responding to Williams' leadership and as they get used to his quick pace of play, they're improving.
Williams went 2-for-3 from behind the 3-point line and also added two rebounds, two assists and two steals, all while logging 22 minutes on the floor.
He was Utah's leading scorer, followed by Gordon Hayward, who had 13 points. Al Jefferson and Enes Kanter had 12 apiece.
Kanter, who played 18 minutes, also had 12 rebounds.
The Jazz, 1-1 in the preseason, also got 10 points from newcomer Marvin Williams and 11 from second-year man Alec Burks.
The Jazz have won 10 of their last 12 preseason contests and have not lost a home exhibition contest since Oct. 9, 2008.
"It's preseason but at the end of the day, when we step on the court, we're working on our stuff," Jefferson said. "We're not worrying about the Lakers or the Clippers or Oklahoma City, we're just working on our stuff, what we want to get better at."
The Thunder, 0-2 in preseason, were led by 14 points from rookie Perry Jones and 12 from Serge Ibaka.
Kevin Durant played 18 minutes, scoring nine points on 3-for-7 shooting.
Center Cole Aldrich had 11 points, 10 rebounds and three blocked shots.
Utah broke out to a 31-23 lead at the end of the first quarter and withstood a couple of OKC advances before the game was over. However, with it being a preseason affair, coaches on both sides were looking to evaluate some of their lesser-known talent.
"The game wasn't a good game for us," Thunder coach Scott Brooks said. "There was no doubt we turned the ball over too many times (21), we took too many bad shots, but there were some good things."
The Jazz head off Los Angeles to take on the Lakers tonight and again on Tuesday.