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Deron Williams and his teammates left their legs in Phoenix.
Twenty-four hours after energized New Jersey beat the Suns, the Nets ran out of gas in Utah on Saturday night and lost to the Jazz, 107-94.
In his homecoming game, Williams struggled as much as anyone.
He finished with 16 points, but he missed 12 of his 15 shots. He had five assists, but only one after the middle of the first quarter.
"It wasn't a very good one for me, but it was fun to be back in the building and fun to see my ex-teammate," said Williams, who had a season-high 35 points in the Nets' 110-103 win at Phoenix.
"That one took a lot out of us. We didn't have any legs, and they looked like a fresh team. They were beating us to the loose balls and getting offensive rebounds. They just looked a lot more energized than us."
The Nets dropped to 3-10 this season, which is their last one before moving to Brooklyn.
Williams, of course, can become a free agent this summer.
As a result, the Nets' performance on the court and progress they make could influence his decision to stay.
It sounds like he isn't discouraged at least not yet.
"I'm just trying to keep my energy positive," Williams said. "I've talked to Jordan Farmar a lot. He's used to winning as well [with the L.A. Lakers]. So we've been talking to each other, trying to push ourselves through it."
New Jersey suffered a huge setback when center Brook Lopez fractured his foot in training camp. The injury sidelined him for at least six weeks.
"We're a young team," Williams said. "We have some talent. But at the end of the day, we have Brook Lopez hurt. That's 20 points a game right there. ...
"We were put together at the last minute and didn't have a full training camp. So I have to realize that and get past that and just try to get as many wins as possible."
Williams missed three of four shots in the first quarter, when Nets coach Avery Johnson saw it might not be his night.
"He was drained early in the game," Johnson said. "They were wearing him down. They were hanging all over him."
• Ex-Jazz point guard Deron Williams scored 16 points in his return to Utah.
• Williams made only three of his 15 field-goal attempts and committed five turnovers.
• Williams handed out five assists, but four of them came in the opening eight minutes.