The Utah Jazz were missing one former All-Star but got another back in their most recent game, avenging their first loss of the year convincingly.

The Washington Wizards would gladly settle for any kind of win.

With Deron Williams back in the lineup, the Jazz will try to maintain their hot start on Wednesday night when they continue their five-game road trip against the Wizards, the league's only winless team.

Utah excused center Mehmet Okur on Monday to return to his native Turkey to deal with a family illness, but the loss of their high-scoring center was offset by the return of Williams, who had missed the team's first six games with a sprained left ankle.

Williams was a bit rusty on Tuesday, scoring seven points on 1-of-8 shooting from the field, but he had nine assists in 31 minutes as the Jazz came back from four down at the end of the third to beat Philadelphia 93-80.

"I didn't know what was going to happen,'' Utah coach Jerry Sloan said. "We thought he'd play five minutes or so but he played longer.''

The Jazz (6-1) relied heavily on strong defense, holding the 76ers to 38.2 percent shooting and 13 fourth-quarter points - three fewer than Ronnie Brewer scored in the final 12 minutes. That was a far cry from Saturday, when they gave up 31 in the fourth during a 107-99 loss to the New York Knicks.

"It shows so much maturity on our team," said Brewer, who matched Williams with nine assists. "In years past we would've folded. We stuck with it, rebounded and executed our offense."

Utah is the third-stingiest team in the NBA through the season's first two weeks, allowing 89.4 points per game.

Okur likely won't be available against the Wizards (0-5), meaning first-round pick Kosta Koufos will get his second start. Koufos had played only seven minutes in the Jazz's first six games, but logged 20 minutes on Tuesday, scoring six points and grabbing five rebounds.

Washington knows what it's like to be without a star guard - Gilbert Arenas hasn't played yet this season due thanks to another knee injury, and he's out for at least another month.

The Wizards are also familiar with 0-5 starts. That's what their record was after five games last season, but Washington went on to finish 43-39 and earn the Eastern Conference's No. 5 playoff seed.

With that in mind, they're not panicking - yet.

"No. Never. There's too many games," said leading scorer Caron Butler, averaging 20.2 points. "If we were at this point a month from now and I'm saying, 'Hey, we're 0-20,' I would tell you, 'Yeah.' I couldn't be as positive as I am right now."

Washington's biggest issue has been the NBA's worst defense, which is allowing 108.8 ppg and has yielded an average of 112.3 in its last four games.

Orlando became the third team to shoot at least 50 percent against the Wizards on Saturday in a 106-81 victory. The Magic's Dwight Howard had 29 points and 19 rebounds, the latest illustration of how much Washington misses center Brendan Haywood, who's out four to six months after offseason wrist surgery.

"(Haywood) was the anchor of the whole defense,'' forward Darius Songaila said. "He was always talking and pointing and affecting shots and changing shots.''

Haywood played but couldn't make a difference in the Wizards' last meeting with Utah. The Jazz got 29 points from Carlos Boozer and 16 assists from Williams in a 129-87 win on March 31, Washington's worst loss in more than six years.


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