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Washington takes air out of former Wake star's sails

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) -- After spending the last eight months
recuperating from a broken kneecap, Washington Wizards guard Jarvis
Hayes is ready to show that he's ready to play again.

Hayes scored 19 points as the Wizards rallied for a 95-91
preseason win over the defending NBA champion San Antonio Spurs
Thursday.

Hayes, in his third NBA season, put in 17 points in the first
half, including 11 in the second quarter as Washington overcame an
eight-point deficit to pull ahead 51-49 at halftime.

"I'm going into these preseason games with a different
mindset," said Hayes, who missed the last three months of the
2004-2005 season after fracturing his right kneecap.

"It's my first game action in a while, so I know I'm not going
to play a lot of minutes. But the minutes I'm out there, I want to
be aggressive and try to do some of the stuff I want to do."

The Wizards' reserves took over from there, keying a
fourth-quarter rally that eventually handed San Antonio its third
straight preseason loss and spoiled the college homecomimg of Tim
Duncan at Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum.

Duncan, a three-time AP All American and national player of the
year at Wake Forest, was honored by city officials before the game
by having Thursday named "Tim Duncan Day." He received a key to
the city, and had Deacon Drive, which runs by Joel Coliseum,
renamed "Tim Duncan Drive."

"Just walking through these doors and sitting in that locker
room -- every place in here has some memories," Duncan said. "It's
fun to be back here in that respect, but I could never have
imagined nine years later coming full circle, being back in here
with everything I've done."

However, Duncan struggled from the start, not scoring his first
points until the 3:06 mark of the second quarter off a short,
one-handed jumper from the baseline. He played just 23 minutes, and
finished with four points and 13 rebounds.

Caron Butler scored 14 points, Antonio Daniels and Awvee Storey
added 12 points each and Billy Thomas 10 points for the Wizards.

Down 85-81 with four minutes remaining, Washington went on a
10-point run, capped by a Peter Ramos free throw that put the
Wizards up 91-85 with less than a minute to play.

San Antonio rallied, cutting the Wizards' lead to 92-91 off
Jawad Williams' 3-point play with 9.3 seconds left. Donell Taylor
hit the first of two free throws to push Washington's lead back to
two points, only to miss the second.

The Spurs had a chance to tie the game, but Thomas stripped
Melvin Sanders of the ball, then hit a pair of free throws with 4.7
seconds remaining to seal the game.

Slovenian point guard Beno Udrih came off the bench to score 20
points, rookie Sharrod Ford added 13 points and Sean Marks 10 for
the Spurs.

"It's important to have depth in an NBA season," San Antonio
head coach Gregg Popovich said of Udrih. "When our third point
guard goes out and plays like he did is important for us. Our team
is pretty full, so it's difficult for guys right now, but he's
really keeping our interest."