Hayes Stays Focused Despite Being Poked

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By Michael Lee
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Late in the third quarter of the Wizards' 114-111 victory against Utah yesterday, Washington reserve guard Jarvis Hayes drove to the basket and Utah reserve Dee Brown came soaring through the air and poked Hayes in the eye, sending Hayes to the floor. Hayes got up to make both free throws.

With a huge white patch covering his right eye, Hayes addressed the media after the game looking like a reject extra from the "Pirates of the Caribbean."

"It hurt. Felt terrible," Hayes said. "But, the last couple of years, the amount of time I missed because of my knee, I wasn't going to sit out because I got poked in the eye. Um-um, no way."

Coach Eddie Jordan called on Hayes with 1 minute 9 seconds left to defend Mehmet Okur, who finished with a team-high 38 points and had three three-pointers in the fourth quarter.

Hayes delivered -- "He didn't hit a bucket when I was out there" -- and he came through on offense. Gilbert Arenas hit the game-winning three-pointer at the buzzer, but, moments earlier, Hayes rebounded an Arenas miss in the lane and hit a short jump-hook over Okur to give the Wizards a 111-109 lead.

"I was at the right place at the right time," Hayes said. He had to laugh, too. "Hell, I was too close," he said. "I don't get scoring opportunities like that much."

Said Jordan, "I told Jarvis, 'Next time, you get a timeout when you get a rebound like that. Just joking.' " . . .

Arenas became the fourth player to score at least 50 points against Utah this season, joining Milwaukee's Michael Redd (57), the Lakers' Kobe Bryant (52) and Seattle's Ray Allen (54).

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