In his first ever playoff series, Deron Williams and the Utah Jazz were stretched to seven games by the Houston Rockets in 2007.
Despite it being the first time Williams had faced such pressure, he still performed at an extremely high level in Game 7, posting 20 points in addition to his 14 assists.
No assist was bigger in this game than when Williams drove baseline and kicked the ball back out to Mehmet Okur, who drained a three with just over a minute to play to put the Jazz up by four.
Utah led for over forty minutes on the road at the Toyota Center, including a double-digit halftime lead, but the Rockets fought their way back to apply some pressure to a Jazz team making its first playoff appearance in four seasons.
A young Williams, playing in his second NBA season, remained poised as the Rockets, and his former college teammate Luther Head, charged back in the second half. Williams added a bucket and four assists in the fourth quarter, playing a key role in facilitating a loaded Jazz offense that featured Okur, Carlos Boozer and Andrei Kirilenko.
Williams’ poise and playmaking ability led Utah to a series-deciding 103-99 victory over NBA Hall of Famers Tracy McGrady and Yao Ming.
This Game 7 came in the first round, but a loss in this game would have ended Utah’s run to the Western Conference Finals, the team’s first and only trip to that stage since the days of John Stockton and Karl Malone.
Deron’s performance in that first-round Game 7 sparked the deepest playoff run of his career in a Jazz uniform.
Williams led the Jazz over the No. 8 seed Golden State Warriors in the second round, who pulled a historic upset over the top-seeded Dallas Mavericks in the first round. The Jazz ultimately fell to the San Antonio Spurs in the conference finals, who went on to sweep LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA Finals in 2007.