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Auburn Hills, Mich. • Amid one of his best offensive stretches of the season, Jazz forward Paul Millsap acknowledged Saturday that he had a tough time finding a rhythm early in the season and might just now be hitting his stride.
The veteran Jazz forward began the final year of his $32 million contract shooting a career-high number of 3-pointers and drifting in and out of effectiveness. However, since 2013 began, Millsap has seen his statistics spike dramatically. His scoring, shooting percentages and assists are up.
"It was a slower process this year for whatever reason," he said. "But I don't look back in the past, so whatever happened, happened."
Friday's loss to Atlanta, while a blow to the team, was another big step by Millsap, who finished with 20 points, 13 rebounds and five assists one of his most balanced games of the season.
"You look at the numbers and the stuff he's getting," Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin said, "not just the rebounds the assists, the scoring, where he's getting scores on the floor."
Entering Saturday's game, Millsap was averaging 16.8 points per game in January, up from 14.8 in December and 14.2 in November. He was shooting 53.8 percent from the field, markedly improved from the numbers he posted in December (48.5) and November (46.1).
Millsap seems to be regaining the form that had folks considering him one of last year's biggest All-Star snubs.
"That's how he has to play and help us be more effective," Corbin said.
Williams practices, but still day-to-day
Saturday marked the end of the three-game period the Jazz originally designated to see how starting forward Marvin Williams responded to treatment on his inflamed right knee.
Williams practiced and went through shootarounds with the Jazz on the road trip and told reporters pregame Saturday that he hoped to be cleared to play Monday against the defending champion Heat.
However, Corbin wasn't about to make any promises about Williams' status, calling it "day-to-day" and saying he wanted to re-evaluate his status after the team returns to Salt Lake City.
"Marvin's coming around," Corbin said. "We'll see when we get back."