Bayless shows no fear

MIKE GANTER, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:06 AM ET

LONDON, England — In no way could Jerryd Bayless declare victory. The Nets, after all, did win the game, but Bayless made sure the opportunity was there for his Raptors.

He did it by almost single-handedly taking Deron Williams off his game for the bulk of the three overtime periods.

Bayless, who spent the bulk of all three overtimes guarding Williams, held the former Illinois standout to just two points and two assists in the extra 15 minutes of play.

The mano-a-mano staredown was most apparent when the Nets had the basketball with Bayless, a noted trash-talker, down in his stance and verbally daring Williams to beat him.

“He’s an amazing player and I was just trying to stay in front of him and make him take tough shots,” Bayless said. “That was my goal. Obviously he still had a good game, I just wish we had won.”

Bayless said when his friends back home ask him to name the top three players in the league, he always includes Williams in that group. He has faced him enough both in college (Williams with Illinois and Bayless with Arizona) and the pros to have a pretty good idea of his talents.

Were it not for Travis Outlaw and his 10 overtime points, Bayless’ work on Williams may have been the difference in the Raptors getting out of London with a win.


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