Coach sets Raps straight

TORONTO SUN STAFF

, Last Updated: 8:40 AM ET

After the relief and joy that comes having stolen a game you didn't deserve -- like the Raptors on Wednesday night -- came the expected tongue-lashing.

"Yeah, we got a little lecture," six-year veteran Morris Peterson said yesterday. "One of (Sam Mitchell's) many famous lectures. He doesn't want us to get complacent. Obviously we stole (Wednesday's) game."

Peterson knew it was coming and he wasn't arguing it wasn't deserved either.

"He came in (for morning practice) and told us 'You know what, that was a good win, you showed some heart coming back but we can't keep doing this every night. We're playing with fire.' "

What Mitchell is hoping to avoid is getting so caught up in the fact they are winning they forget the game they won the night before could have just as easily wound up a loss.

The 90-88 win over an undermanned New Orleans Hornets club Wednesday night was only salvaged with seven or so minutes of outstanding basketball at the end of the game.

Mitchell's fear right now is eventually that poor play in the early going is going to catch up to his team and there won't be the late-game comeback to bail themselves out of a loss.

"Our approach is we want to come to practice like we lost our last game," Peterson said. "We have to approach it like everything that we did yesterday is in the past."

CELTICS TONIGHT

The Raps will have another similar test tonight when they face the Boston Celtics for the second time this month. The Celts will be without starters Paul Pierce, Wally Szczerbiak, and Tony Allen and have lost nine in a row.

Peterson said it's not always easy playing the injury-plagued teams.

"Sometimes those are the hardest games, when you're facing a team with their star players out and there's a chance for other guys to show what they can do," Peterson said.


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