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Williams’ shots not falling

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EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Jazz point guard Deron Williams led all NBA rookies in 3-point accuracy last season at 41.6 percent while casting up a Jazz rookie-record 219 shots from the behind the line and making a team rookie-high 91.

In five games so far this season, however, Williams hasn't been able to find the mark from so far away. He entered Wednesday night's visit to New Jersey shooting 0-of-7 on trey tries, and missed his only attempt in a loss to the Nets.

"Everything's short," Williams said afterward. "I've got to fix that, and I've been trying to work on that and get it in my mind to get them up. But it seems like every time I shoot them they're short."

Jazz coach Jerry Sloan, who took a shot at Williams and others for taking ill-advised 3-pointers once already this season, also shared some of the blame for his sophomore point's bad aim.

"I may have had him hesitate a little bit," Sloan said. "I take responsibility for that, if he's having a problem."

Sloan also went to bat for Williams when it comes to shooting freebies, something which he did exactly zero times in New Jersey.

"I think later on, when he has the respect of the league," said Sloan, "maybe he'll get to the free-throw line."

Williams seemed to agree.

"I thought I was over that a little bit," he said, reflecting back on a rookie season filled with instances of no-respect. "Preseason I was getting a lot more calls. It seems like now I go to the hole, I get whacked — and nothing.

"But, you know, the refs, they can't call everything, and they can't see everything," Williams added. "They're only human."

SEEING DOUBLE: Nets big man Jason Collins now has a 4-3 advantage in victories against the Jazz when his twin brother Jarron Collins plays for Utah.

Jason had five rebounds in 26 minutes for the Nets; Jarron had one in eight minutes for the Jazz. Both were scoreless in the seventh faceoff of their careers.

OUCH: Nets stars Vince Carter and Richard Jefferson both were feeling the pain after Wednesday's game, Carter due to a strained quad and Jefferson because of an ankle sprain.

"Vince is a competitor, so nobody knew what happened," Nets point guard Jason Kidd said of Carter's brief exit from the game. "We were just happy that it wasn't that serious."

Said Carter, who finished with a game-high 30 points: "It was strained, but I just decided to play."

IN THE CROWD: New WBO heavyweight champion Shannon Briggs showed up in time to take a front-row seat and watch the final few minutes of the fourth quarter.

One of the boxer's handlers who sat nearby was toting the championship belt Briggs won from Sergei "The White Wolf" Liakhovich in last Saturday night's title fight at Phoenix.

MISC.: Rafael Araujo, Brian Chase and Roger Powell Jr. all were inactive for the Jazz, ex-BYU center Araujo for a third straight time and rookies Chase and Powell for the fifth time in as many games. ... Utah rookies Ronnie Brewer and Dee Brown both dressed but did not play (coach's decision). ... Ex-Jazz big man Mikki Moore dressed but did not play (coach's decision) for the Nets. ... New Jersey veteran Clifford Robinson was scoreless in his season debut after serving two games stemming from a league drug suspension that carried over from last postseason.

E-mail: tbuckley@desnews.com