MoPete quietly effective

STEVE BUFFERY -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 8:02 AM ET

Raptors head coach Sam Mitchell really gave it to Morris Peterson last night after the starting forward shot 1-for-7 and scored all of two points against the Minnesota Timberwolves.

That is, he really gave him a huge pat on the back.

"I thought he played unbelievable," Mitchell said, with a straight face, after his Raptors defeated the T-Wolves 100-91 at the Target Center.

Peterson has been close to dreadful for the Raptors on this road this season. The fifth-year NBAer is averaging 14.1 points and is shooting 50% from the field at the Air Canada Centre. On the road, he is averaging eight points and is shooting 30%.

Last night, his offensive output was worse than usual. But you know what? Mitchell singled him out for kudos because of the job he did, particularly late in the game, on Minnesota's hottest shooter, forward Wally Szczerbiak, who had 20 points after three quarters but was kept to five in the fourth.

"You've heard me say this about Chris (Bosh)," Mitchell said. "You can help us win games other than by shooting. Mo came in when we needed someone to guard Wally because Wally was on a roll, and he came in and defended him well. I thought Mo's defence was huge."

LOT OF PRIDE

Peterson is at a loss to explain why his offence suffers so dramatically on the road, but he has taken a lot of pride this season on his defensive play, and that's why he wasn't particularly angry last night after scoring only two points.

"It makes me concentrate more on D," Peterson said of his poor shooting. "It's easy when you're feeling good and your shots are going down but I think the true test of character is when things aren't going right and how you react to it. If you're struggling shooting, are you going to hang your head and pout or are you going to rise to the challenge? One thing I've always been taught is that defence is pride. I take more pride in my defence."


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