ORLANDO, Fla. – The New York Knicks may have beaten the Miami Heat 91-72 on Thursday's championship day at the Amway Center, but former UCF player and current Heat shooting guard Matt Williams garnered some confidence in a team-leading, 14-point effort.
Leaving the Orlando Pro Summer League to play in the Las Vegas Pro Summer League, Williams, who struggled Tuesday because of an ankle injury he had sustained during practice earlier in the week, found his shooting groove again, hitting four 3-pointers in Thursday's efforts.
"You could see he's getting his legs under him," Summer League head coach Chris Quinn said of Williams. "He's getting a little more comfortable out there. He was able to make some shots, which help. We need the shooting that he can give us and we look forward to seeing a lot of him in Vegas."
Going 5-of-16 from the field, Williams played a total of 28:39 minutes. After scoring only three points in Tuesday's game on seven shot attempts, Williams got a boost from this performance before leaving with the team for Las Vegas where he is expected to get more playing time like Thursday.
"It always helps," Williams said of going into Vegas after Thursday's big game. "It would have been better to get the win ... Whatever they need me to do. They need me to play three minutes or 30. They need me to score you know 20 or three points, whatever (the Heat) needs from me, I'm just gonna go out there and try and do it for them every night."
Williams, who left the University of Central Florida as the 3-point record holder, played 124 career games with the Knights over his five years with the team. Scoring a total of 1,105 points, Williams made 126 3-point shots his final year alone.
Battling at the Amway Center, close by to UCF where he had played for so long, Williams tried to get one last win in his hometown before leaving Orlando.
"I'm just trying to get healthy and get a rhythm," Williams said. "It's always great to play at home. Just looking forward to my next trip. This whole thing has been valuable ... I'm learning how to treat myself as a professional."