Raptors earn a day off

MIKE KOREEN -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 7:13 AM ET

Sam Mitchell finally gave his players a rest yesterday.

The Raptors coach, following two road wins against the Atlanta Hawks and New Jersey Nets on Friday and Saturday, gave the team its first day off of the season yesterday.

Since the season opener Nov. 2, the Raptors had practised or played every day.

With another back-to-back next on the docket -- tomorrow in Washington against the Wizards and on Wednesday at the Air Canada Centre against the Los Angeles Lakers -- it was a good time for a break.

RARE SUCCESS

Raptors fans should savour the win over the Nets on Saturday.

The team usually is a good bet to lose in the second half of a back-to-back set.

With the victory, the Raptors' record in the second half of back-to-backs in the past four years improved to 11-45.

The victories over Atlanta and New Jersey marked the first time the Raptors had won two road games in a row on consecutive days since April 7-8, 2000, against the Atlanta Hawks and Chicago Bulls.

GOOD OL' MO

Morris Peterson, a sixth-year NBAer, is a grizzled veteran these days for the Raptors.

The 28-year-old found himself on the court with third-year star Chris Bosh and rookies Charlie Villanueva, Joey Graham and Jose Calderon for much of the fourth quarter Saturday in New Jersey.

"I'm trying to provide some leadership and let those guys know ain't nobody going to get us out of this jam but ourselves," Peterson said.

ARAUJO'S DECENT NIGHT

Rafael Araujo seems to be at his worst at the Air Canada Centre, but, occasionally, he puts together some decent minutes on the road.

While he certainly wasn't the featured attraction in the win over the Nets, the team's first-round pick from 2004 contributed to the Raptors' cause in a meaningful way. He played 20 minutes -- scored five points and pulled down six rebounds -- while not looking completely lost on the floor.


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