Rafer in good mood

MIKE KOREEN -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 11:07 AM ET

Raptors point guard Rafer Alston, who knows a thing or two about trouble, cracked a little smile when Washington Wizards counterpart Gilbert Arenas was ejected last night. "Glad to see it's not just me (getting disciplined)," said Alston, who returned to the team last night after a two-game suspension for walking out of a practice last Saturday.

"I want to see what kind of fine that is. If it's not bigger than my $7,500 (for verbally abusing a ref last month), I have to call Stu (Jackson, the NBA's senior vice president of basketball operations)."

While Arenas was the best point guard on the floor much of the night, Alston elevated his game after the Wizards star was booted out for firing a bounce pass at referee Bob Delaney. Alston, who came off the bench but played together with starting point guard Milt Palacio for much of the second half, scored 11 of his 16 points in the fourth quarter as the Raptors beat the Wizards 103-100.

"What helps is that my team embraced me (Thursday) and the fans were excited to have me back (last night)," Alston said. "I had people shouting at me behind the bench that they need me out there. I feel this team needs everyone."

Alston's mother, Geraldine, with belt in hand, came to Toronto Thursday and attended the game last night. So is she ready to ditch the belt for now?

"She keeps it probably in her purse," Alston said with a smile. "She's just waiting for me to do something wrong."

But Alston was happy to have mom watching.

"She sheds tears when I'm playing," he said. "I don't know why. I guess it's because she had to work so many nights during my years of playing and growing up in (New York). "

PARTING SHOT

Delaney, a busy man last night, took a shot at Raptors forward Jalen Rose, who had issues with the officiating.

"That's the first pass you ever threw," Delaney told Rose after the veteran tossed the ball to a teammate.


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