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Mark Williams emerging with the Hornets after a career performance

Mark Williams registered his first double-double and set a career high on Thursday to help lead the Charlotte Hornets to a win over the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Williams produced 17 points, 13 rebounds, two assists, two steals and two blocked shots in the 121-113 win. He was a perfect 7-of-7 from the field in 21 minutes of work off of the bench in just his sixth appearance of the season.

The 15th pick became just the third rookie in history to record at least 17 points and 13 rebounds in a game on 100% shooting from the field. He is also just the fifth player ever to put up those numbers along with two assists, two steals and two blocks.

Hornets coach Steve Clifford liked what Williams brought to the floor.

I think it shows what he is capable of. You have to do it three, four times a week against different types of players and different types of players. This shows his talent and now it’s, ‘Can you do it every night?’ That’s what the NBA is all about.

The appearance was Williams’ third straight for the Hornets. The 21-year-old was thrust into action as the backup center with Nick Richards dealing with an ankle injury. Richards was cleared to play after missing two games, but Clifford opted to stick with Williams in the second unit.

Williams appreciated the decision to stick with him.

The trust (Coach) puts into me, that means a lot. I just wanted to show that it was the right decision and wanted to make the most out of the opportunity and just play hard and play to my strengths.

The Hornets have opted to keep Williams in the NBA G League for much of the season. The team viewed the assignments as a great opportunity for Williams to adjust to the competition and learn the different types of coverages at the position.

Williams responded by averaging 22.2 points, 12.2 rebounds and 1.8 blocks on 64.8% shooting in 11 games in Greensboro. He recorded eight double-doubles and produced a monster performance during his last time out on Dec. 22: 29 points and 17 rebounds.

Those games helped him stay prepared to contribute to the Hornets.

You never know what each game could hold. Things can happen. So, I think for me, it’s just being ready for my opportunity when that moment happens and just being prepared for it. It’s not like I’m nervous or anything. It’s just basketball. When I’m on the floor, just making the most of it, doing the things I’m supposed to do on both sides of the ball. I think I just showed a little bit of that tonight.

Clifford previously commended Williams for welcoming the chance to play in the G League. It is clear that those minutes in Greensboro helped prepare him for his recent opportunity and the rookie is showing what he can provide the team.

Williams has impressed those around him in the early going as the team believes he has a bright future ahead. He could spend more time in the G League, but it appears as though he has the tools and skills to eventually make an impact in the NBA.

Source : Yahoo