ATLANTA (AP)—Jarvis Hayes was so open he had a few moments to think about all the mistakes he’d already made.
He shot anyway, and the Washington Wizards were on their way to snapping a four-game losing streak.
Hayes keyed a fourth-quarter run with a go-ahead 3-pointer and the Wizards beat the Atlanta Hawks 106-97 Monday night.
“I did hesitate,” Hayes said. “But I was so wide open that I had to shoot it. Fortunately, it went in.”
“We had to get this one,” Arenas said. “The pressure was building up. We had to come out and fight for this one.”
Hayes, who played for two years at Georgia, rebounded from a shaky start to finish with 16 points. He has started every game in place of Jerry Stackhouse, who’s out indefinitely after having knee surgery before the season.
“He made a lot of mistakes,” Washington coach Eddie Jordan said of Hayes. “But we had to stick with him. He’s one of our guys.”
Stephen Jackson had only five points in 31 minutes, then vented his frustration with the Hawks’ lackadaisical play.
“We should have been desperate from the first game,” said Jackson, who played for the champion San Antonio Spurs last season.
“This team hasn’t had a winning season and made the playoffs in I don’t know how long. You can’t sit here and just wait for it to turn around. You got to do it, man.
“At the end of the game out there, we were expecting to lose,” he said.
A jumper by Jacque Vaughn gave the Hawks their last lead at 78-76 midway through the fourth quarter, but they went on a three-minute dry spell.
After Jared Jeffries made a free throw to cut the margin to one, Hayes nailed a jumper from behind the arc, giving the Wizards the lead for good.
“He had had a rough night, but he shot that one with confidence,” Arenas said. “That’s what shooters do.”
Arenas later boosted the lead to eight with a layup, and he was fouled on the play. He missed the free throw, but Etan Thomas grabbed the carom and laid it in for a 10-point advantage.
Hayes had a rough time in the first quarter, finishing 1-for-8. He got his shot blocked by Theo Ratliff just 38 seconds in—one of six blocks for Ratliff—and also made one turnover.
He finally got his first basket with 2:48 left in the period, a 22-foot jumper that gave the Wizards a 16-14 lead, and he was 3-for-6 in the second quarter.
Washington eventually took a nine-point lead on a 3-pointer by Hayes, but the Hawks closed within two at the end of the half, thanks to an 11-2 run keyed by Abdur-Rahim. He scored four points and had a steal during the spurt.
Arenas blamed Hayes’ poor start on a late night visiting with family and friends a day earlier. Hayes claimed it was just nervousness.
“I’ve been looking forward to this game for a long time,” he said. “Now,the next time I come to Atlanta, I can take my time and be more patient.”
Abdur-Rahim added 11 rebounds. … Atlanta left after the game for a two-game road trip, starting Tuesday night in Milwaukee. … Washington C Brendan Haywood, who started and played 17 minutes, had gotten only 27 minutes in the previous five games, including 22 against San Antonio in the previousone. He didn’t get off the bench in two of them.