Archive for April 17th, 2012

Gordon Hayward

Utah Jazz swingman Gordon Hayward said he initially felt like ripping Delonte West’s finger off and fighting him after he jabbed it into Hayward’s right ear during the second quarter of Monday night’s triple-overtime win against Dallas.

”I wanted to fight right there, but you can’t do that,” Hayward said before Tuesday’s practice. ”It wouldn’t have been the smart idea. I’d risk getting a technical foul, getting suspended for the season, whatever. There’s more important things than fighting someone out on the court. The more important thing was getting the win and we were able to do that.”

Hayward acknowledged Tuesday that many of his teammates might have reacted differently.

But Hayward, who raised both arms and walked away, said he ”got the last laugh” as the Jazz prevailed 123-121 to keep their slim playoff hopes alive with four games remaining.

– Reported by Lynn DeBruin of the Associated Press

Delonte West has always been explosive.

As a scorer, the starting shooting guard for the Dallas Mavericks is capable of putting points up in a hurry. Off the court, he’s capable of becoming a train wreck, with his highly publicized gun possession case of a few years ago a shining example.

When he’s able to separate the two, West is an X-factor at the NBA level, a combination guard who can be a significant factor. Sometimes, like Monday night against the Utah Jazz, he goes overboard.

His “wet willy” of Gordon Hayward, sticking his finger in Hayward’s ear, earned him a technical foul and a seat on the bench. It earned him a spotlight in the media after Utah’s 123-121 triple overtime win at EnergySolutions Arena. It could earn him a fine from David Stern’s office as well.

“I went over the line,” West said. “I saw some lint in his hair, and I wanted to get it out for him. Seriously, we were like two warriors out there. But I forgot the NBA is a gentlemen’s game. They want us to battle and scrap, but they want us to do it nicely.”

– Reported by Tony Jones of the Salt Lake Tribune

InsideHoops.com editor Jeff Lenchiner says: Sometimes Delonte West thinks he’s an NBA player, other times he thinks he’s a q-tip. Things are confusing sometimes.

Video of Delonte West giving Gordon Hayward a “Wet Willy”

Nikola Pekovic

Wolves center Nikola Pekovic has decided to have postseason surgery to remove bone spurs from his right ankle.

He has not decided when he will have the surgery or who will perform it. But his plans are to return home to Europe for two weeks immediately after the season ends before returning to the United States to have the surgery. Pekovic said he will split his rehab between here and Europe.

Until then, Pekovic said, he will finish this season playing in the Wolves’ final games. He had 10 points and four rebounds Monday in a 111-88 loss to Indiana.

“It’s something that will help me to be healthy next season,” he said. “It will help me and my team and everything. I know without that trouble, I’ll be more calm, not thinking about it. And hopefully, not miss any games.”

– Reported by Kent Youngblood of the Minneapolis Star Tribune

al jefferson

Al Jefferson scored 28 points and tied a career-high with 26 rebounds to fuel Monday night’s 123-121 triple-overtime victory over the Dallas Mavericks.

”Right now we just got to win every game, no excuse,” said Jefferson, who had 10 points in the extra periods. ”This is a big test for us. We just got to see where our heart is and I know everybody in the locker room wants to make the playoffs. So we are going to fight and we are going to fight ’til the end. That’s all we can do.” …

Dirk Nowitzki scored 40 points against Utah for the second straight time. His 3-pointer forced the second overtime, but he couldn’t convert late in the third extra period.

The Jazz forced overtime on Paul Millsap’s put-back dunk with 2.2 seconds remaining in regulation…

Jason Terry and Nowitzki both missed 3s in the final 10 seconds. Terry finished with 27 points and four 3s…

Hayward added 24 points for Utah and Harris had 23, with five 3s…

Millsap finished with 16 points, nine rebounds and two blocks.

– Reported by Lynn DeBruin the Associated Press

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