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