MoPete, Bosh burn Celts

STEVE BUFFERY -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 10:36 AM ET

Morris Peterson took Vince Carter's locker when Vinsanity was shipped off to the New Jersey Nets last month.

And MoPete's playing just like the Carter of old, minus the pouting.

Peterson picked up a career-high 37 points against the Celtics as the Raptors defeated the Boston Celtics 104-93 last night in front of 15,108 at the Air Canada Centre.

His previous best was 33.

The Flint, Mich., native nailed seven three-pointers on 14 attempts. He also had six assists, four boards and two blocked shots.

"The basketball gods were good to me," Peterson said. "I hit some crazy shots, like the halfcourt shot I hit. You really can't explain it sometimes. I just always just try to stay aggressive and play hard.

"I was watching highlights (yesterday) on ESPN and they were saying about how 90% of shooting is your legs, and that's what I've been trying to concentrate on, making sure I'm getting my legs into my shots," Peterson said.

The win represented Toronto's fourth in their past five home games and improved the team's record to 14-22.

Peterson also hustled on defence, at one point throwing himself into the courtside seats attempting to get to a loose ball in the third quarter.

Power forward Chris Bosh had another big game, picking up a career-high 26 points, 14 from the free-throw line, and 11 rebounds, his fifth straight double-double. He also had four blocked shots.

The Raps are 8-0 when Bosh scores 20 or more.

"Everything starts from the inside," Peterson said of Bosh. "He has been making it a lot easier for our shooters. We definitely work inside-out and Chris didn't get player-of-the week for nothing. He has been playing great."

Starting point guard Rafer Alston had 10 points, shooting 3-for-10, six assists and six rebounds, but also six turnovers.

Along with Milt Palacio, the Raptors point guards turned the ball over nine times.

Donyell Marshall, who played 17 minutes off the bench, shot 1-for-7 and had four points, but also picked up nine rebounds. Jalen Rose picked up three fouls in the second quarter and only played 15 minutes off the bench, picking up four points.

TEAM RECORD

Paul Pierce led the Celtics with 23 points, while Ricky Davis had 22 off the bench.

On the strength of 10 three-pointers, a franchise record for most triples in a half, the Raptors charged ahead 59-49 at the half. Toronto shot 53% from the field in the first half.

Peterson nailed a couple of three-pointers in the last two minutes of the first quarter to put the Raptors ahead 29-25. He had 13 points in the quarter and 21 in the first half, a Raptors season-high for points in a half. With 2:21 remaining in the half, MoPete threw up a prayer from 40-feet out as the shot clock sounded to put the Raptors up 53-46.

"How many times have we had people do that to us this year?" head coach Sam Mitchell said of the buzzer beater. "I recall three times this year when it happened to us before the half. When guys get on a roll, they can make any kind of shot."

Peterson's acrobatics continued in the third quarter when he nailed an off-balance hook shot and also sunk the free after being fouled, putting the Raps up 82-70. Toronto led 84-75 with one quarter remaining.


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