Updated: April 17, 2012, 4:29 AM ET

1. Jazz Go 3 OTs To Keep Playoff Hopes Alive

By Spencer Hall
TrueHoop Network

SALT LAKE CITY -- It's an old saying in journalism: "Whenever a player sticks a finger in the ear of an opponent, it leads." Or something like that.

Somehow, Monday's triple-overtime Dallas-Utah game had enough craziness to nearly overshadow Delonte West's giving Gordon Hayward a playground-variety "West Willie." It also made for fun times in the press room as reporters tried to get a style reference on whether it should be "Willie" or "Willy."

But the games within the game had nothing on the dramatic finishes to regulation and all three overtime periods. Dirk Nowitzki (40 points, 9 rebounds, 6 assists) and Jason Terry (27 points, 4 3-pointers) hit big shot after big shot, only to be matched by Al Jefferson (28 points, 26(!) rebounds), Devin Harris (23 points, 5 3-pointers) and Gordon Hayward (24 points, 5 assists, 4 rebounds).

The Jazz have had a flair for the dramatic this season, with 12 games decided by three points or fewer, losing half. But after dropping five heartbreakers at home, the Jazz picked a great time to put together their most resilient effort of the season. Utah now sits one-half game out of the eighth spot behind Phoenix and Houston with four games left and three at home.

After being criticized for riding his starters through nearly the entirety of a four-overtime loss last month in Atlanta, Jazz coach Ty Corbin again went the distance with one unit. Four Jazz players logged more than 53 minutes, and DeMarre Carroll put in 45, despite a root canal earlier in the day.

As for the Mavericks, the loss comes a day after losing in overtime to the Lakers. Dallas now sits in seventh place in the Western Conference, giving up ground to the suddenly strong Denver Nuggets. Despite nearly stealing a win on a wild night, the Mavs didn't seem rattled by the disappointing outcome.

Said Nowitzki, "It was a fun game to be a part of. Both teams left it all out there and competed at a high level. Big plays and big shots on both ends of the floor. The crowd was into it, so you couldn't ask for a better game. We had our chances. If we get that one rebound at the end of regulation, the game is over."

Perhaps if they give one fewer wet willy, the game is over, too.

Spencer Hall writes about the Jazz for the TrueHoop Network's Salt City Hoops.

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