Woods standing tall

MIKE KOREEN -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 7:13 AM ET

It is far too late to make a difference, but Raptors centre Loren Woods finally is making a noticeable impact.

The 7-foot-2 Woods, who has been the team's starter at the start of the past two seasons only to lose almost all of his playing time later in the campaigns, has averaged seven points, 7.5 rebounds and 3.5 blocked shots the past two games. It is all but certain Woods has five games left in a Raptors uniform, as his contract expires after this season, but at least he has earned the respect of his teammates.

"He had a great game for us (Sunday in a 94-88 loss against the Charlotte Bobcats)," Raptors point guard Mike James said. "It was tough when he went out (in favour of Charlie Villanueva) because we didn't have no big presence in the middle no longer. When he was in the game, he had five blocked shots, he was rebounding the ball well and he was also 4-of-6 from the field. It was hard to play without a presence in the middle. (Sunday) he was a presence and when he went out, we didn't have nobody down low able to make any type of defensive plays for us."

Woods had a season-high 10 points, five rebounds and a career high-tying five blocked shots Sunday.

SHOOTING BLANKS

Raptors swingman Morris Peterson, who has elevated his game in a big way this season, is in the midst of a minor shooting slump. In the past three games, Peterson has shot 11-for-44 from the field and is 1-for-14 from three-point range. He didn't score a single point in the first half Sunday.

"I'm not worried about my shot," Peterson said. "That's going to come. I'm going to let the game come to me and not force anything. If I have open shots, I'm going to take them. It just hasn't happened. I didn't make my shots, but that's the least of my worries. What I take pride in doing is going out and playing hard and leaving it on the floor. My shot will come back around in a couple of days. I'll work on it."

BRIEFLY

James has scored 30 or more points the past three games, becoming the first Raptor to do that since Vince Carter, March 19-23, 2004.


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