Williams’ 40-point masterpiece was worthy of all the praise from his teammates after the sixth-man extraordinaire carried the Clippers past the Charlotte Hornets 106-98 Sunday afternoon at Staples Center before 17,348 fans.
His 16-point performance in the first quarter was how Williams’ outburst started, tying him for the most points in a quarter by a Clipper this season.
His 12-for-21 shooting display, which included going six-for-nine from three-point range, demonstrated how on point Williams was in helping the Clippers win their third straight game (and fifth in their last six games).
His eight assists showed how Williams was a willing passer when the time called for him to showcase other parts of his vast game.
“I knew he could score and all that, but he’s been better than advertised, in my opinion,” said Blake Griffin, who did his part with 25 points, seven rebounds, six assists and two blocks. “The thing that surprised me, too, is I had a lot respect for him as a player, but I didn’t know he was as good of a passer as he is. He scores the ball with ease and tonight was another example. But it never seems like he forces stuff. He’s always in control, which is impressive.”
Williams is undoubtedly a super-sub — he scored the most points by a reserve in a single game in the NBA this season.
He also became the first substitute in the NBA to accomplish that feat since Williams did it himself on Dec. 12, 2016, against the Utah Jazz.
“I think he’s the best player to come off the bench in the league,” said DeAndre Jordan, who did his share by collecting 16 rebounds and going six-for-six from the free-throw line.
Williams made even more history during his production.
It was his 17th career game with at least 30 points off the bench, pushing him past J.R. Smith (16) for most among all active players.
The reticence Williams was four points shy of his career high.
“I always feel like I can get it going, but to see it early, it kind of puts me in a different mindset,” Williams said. “It puts me in an attack mode. And once I get two or three going early on, that way I can get every else involved just by attacking downhill.”
When the game grew tense in the fourth quarter, Williams just raised his level of play even more.
He dropped 15 more points on the Hornets, going four-for-six from the field, six-for-six from the three free-throw line.
Austin Rivers, who didn’t play because of a sore right Achilles’ tendon injury, also had high praise of Williams, who is from Atlanta.
“He just gets buckets, man,” Rivers said of Williams. “That’s what he does, man. He … knows how to get buckets.”