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Alan Williams wins 2017 Dan Majerle Hustle Award, nabs 17 boards

Golden State Warriors forward James Michael McAdoo (20) shoots over Phoenix Suns forward Alan Williams (15) during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Wednesday, April 5, 2017, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York)

Second-year Suns center Alan Williams accepted his first Dan Majerle Hustle Award before the game Wednesday.

Then, against the league-leading Golden State Warriors, he scored 16 points, grabbed a career-high 17 rebounds and added four steals in just 25 minutes during a 120-111 Phoenix loss.

“The kid is writing an phenomenal story for himself,” said Suns coach Earl Watson of Williams, who grew up in Phoenix, went undrafted and last year showed up to a workout overweight.

Williams, who played college ball at UC Santa Barbara, returned to work out for the Suns less than two weeks later. He made the team on two 10-day contracts, then earned a roster spot this season with his play in the Summer League.

“He deserves it, to be honest with you,” Watson said of Williams’ success. “It’s not coincidence. He’s been playing that way all year.”

Williams is averaging 6.8 points and 6.0 rebounds in 14.3 minutes per game this season. Per 36 minutes, he is averaging 17.1 points and 15 rebounds with 1.8 blocks. Of players who have appeared in at least 20 games, Williams ranks sixth in the NBA by averaging 20 rebounds per 100 possessions.

His double-double against Golden State was the 15th of his career and 11th since the All-Star break.

“It was big-time. It’s definitely cool to put one in my trophy case,” Williams said of winning the Majerle Hustle Award.

Williams ends a four-year streak of current Toronto Raptor P.J. Tucker winning the honor, which was first given to Bo Outlaw in 2003.


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