EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J., Feb. 26 -- Just when it appeared that Washington Wizards reserve Jarvis Hayes had begun to turn the corner on his season-long shooting slump, the fourth-year swingman had one of his worst performances Sunday against Minnesota. Inserted into the starting lineup at small forward in place of the injured Caron Butler, Hayes played a season-high 35 minutes but missed 9 of 10 field goal attempts.

Hayes had shot 50 percent or better in his previous three games, connecting on 10 for 19 overall, but still hasn't scored in double figures since Jan. 31 at Toronto, when he scored 13 points off the bench. He is shooting just 34.4 percent from the field in nine games this month despite increased playing time with Antawn Jamison out with a knee injury.

"Obviously, it's frustrating," Hayes said. "It's been tough for me, personally. It's something I got to persevere through and somehow get out of it."

Hayes, who returned after missing most of the past two seasons with a fractured right kneecap, is averaging career lows in scoring (6.0 points) and rebounds (2.3) this season.

"I haven't found a rhythm," Hayes said. "It's something I haven't had for a year and a half."

Net LossesNew Jersey has won its past two games against the Wizards at Continental Airlines Arena, and it has won 10 of the past 11 meetings there since the 2000-01 season. The Wizards' only victory in New Jersey during that period was a 97-86 win on Nov. 20, 2004.


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