SALT LAKE CITY -- At one point during his three-point barrage, Shawne Williams had the entire Jazz bench, including Jerry Sloan, heckling him.
"I heard a couple of them say, 'You ain't gonna get no more!'," Williams said. "But I still got like three more."
Williams seems to have what Amar'e Stoudemire likes to refer to as "immortal swag," especially when it comes to that shot from the left corner, which he has literally made a living off of in Mike D'Antoni's system.
"I'm just really smart about being in the corner because I know that's the highest percentage shots you can get," he said. "I'm going to roll with the statistics."
As he rolls, he rises. Williams is now the NBA's top three-point shooter by a mile, with an insane 58.9 percent clip (33 for 56) in 21 games played.
"I didn't even know that," he said with a grin. Then he covered his ears, because you know what happens to an unconscious shooter when you get conscious: "I don't even want to hear that," he said.
Williams made 7 of 8 from downtown for a team-high 25 points in the 131-125 loss to the Jazz. The funny thing is, he airballed his first three-point attempt in the first half, but was told by Ronny Turiaf, and others, to keep shooting. So he did. And in the process, he left Paul Millsap and other Jazz bigs who defended him soaking wet, as they had to chase him out to those corners after helping down on Amar'e Stoudemire. This is exactly why D'Antoni loves playing small, because when you put a shooter at the power forward spot, it stretches the defense and forces opposing bigs to run out to the perimeter. Williams, a 6-9, is one of those perfect fits.
"I feel like I can shoot," Williams said. "That's just what it is."
* * *
* - Another reserve who had a terrific offensive night was Bill Walker, who has gradually started to increase his production over the last five games. Walker had 20 of his 23 points in the first half and, for several stretches while Stoudemire was either in foul trouble or being double-teamed, Walker stepped up as a main scoring option.
Walker said he did nothing out of the ordinary, just "taking the shots I know I can make." He said for a while it felt like when he played in high school. With 20 in the first half, he appeared to be on his way to 40 points. In high school, his highest scoring game was 50.
* - For your daily Melopalooza update, check my story in Newsday about how the Knicks are more in it than people think, plus Amar'e Stoudemire's coy response about his text messaging with Carmelo. The previous post also has Stoudemire's comments.
* - Nagging injuries are starting to mount up as they usually do through this point of the season. Raymond Felton played through a high ankle sprain (and still almost had a triple-double against Deron Williams) while Toney Douglas is dealing with pain in both shoulders that caused him to sit out most of the game here in Utah.
Amar'e suffered a stinger early in the first quarter that he said caused some temporary numbness in his left arm and his calf has also been tight for a few games on this trip. After the game, Wilson Chandler had both knees packed with so much ice he looked like Henrik Lundqvist in goalie pads, plus both feet were in a bucket of ice. You think this job is easy?
* - The Knicks go home from this four-game West Coast trip with a 2-2 split and six more games to go against Western Conference teams in this stretch of 10 straight. After two home games (Friday vs Kings, Monday vs Suns), they head back out on the road for a run through Texas (Houston, San Antonio) and a stop on OKC.