For MoPete's sake

MIKE GANTER, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:26 AM ET

WASHINGTON -- Fourth quarter Mo got one shot at it and he made it count.

Relegated to the bench for most of the evening, Morris Peterson emerged late in regulation to provide a three-point presence.

He would provide the Raptors with a much-needed lift, a momentum shift that ultimately paced the visitors to an improbable 123-118 overtime win over the Washington Wizards.

The longest-serving Raptor winds up every practice with a few attempts from half court and various circus shots on the off chance the situation arises where one is needed.

Last night was that situation and Peterson was up to the task, retrieving a loose ball and heaving a 31-foot shot that found net.

"I just wanted to win," Peterson said. "My whole thing is to be ready whenever my name is called. I think that's what being a professional is all about.

NEVER GIVE UP

"I think as an NBA player you always want to play more minutes but I was always taught to never give up and if I get out there on the court the game is not over. "(Coach Sam Mitchell) must have had some confidence in me to send me out there. I take it as a compliment that he wanted me out there."

Peterson said the ability to come in cold and still be effective was a lesson he learned from former Raptor Dell Curry, who did that repeatedly in Peterson's freshman year. It's a lesson he has never forgotten.

With the win, the Raptors' magic number to clinch a playoff spot is two. They also solidified their hold on opening the post-season with home-court advantage.

Mitchell was asked to put the game in perspective.

"You can't," Mitchell said. "I think our guys just didn't give up. I'm proud of Mo because he hadn't played, and a loose ball like that -- he could have just not went for it and no one would have thought anything about it. But he made a play on the ball and he got a shot off. You never know. He gave us life."

Wizards veteran forward Michael Ruffin threw the ball skywards in hopes of running out the clock. Had he put a little more on it or, even better, protect it and force the Raptors into a foul, it may have worked.

All it did was play into the Raptors' hands.

Peterson's heave was his only attempt from the field all night. He played a total of 55 seconds.

In the five-minute overtime period, Chris Bosh played big. He scored eight points, hauled down three rebounds and took a charge on a driving Deshawn Stevenson with 1:30 remaining and basically dominated the period.

He capped it off with a huge block on Gilbert Arenas with three seconds to go to preserve the win.

"I just wanted to be aggressive coming into the overtime," Bosh said. "That's what I'm here for.

"My teammates look for me to make plays. I just wanted to get shots to the basket and I went to my go-to moves and they went in."

Bosh finished with 37 points and 14 rebounds in his best performance in at least a month and perhaps the season, given the importance of last night's game.

But the shot of the game was Peterson's.

Without it, the Raptors had no shot.

---

REPORT CARD

A- Offence: Chris Bosh and Joey Graham with his first career double-double lead the charge but it was Peterson's three that made all the difference. The Raptors shot an even 50%.

B Defence: Did a fairly decent job against the Wizards big three but defensive letdowns with the likes of Jarvis Hayes and Darius Songaila on in the second quarter kept the Raptors from running away. Defence: Did a fairly decent job against the Wizards big three but defensive letdowns with the likes of Jarvis Hayes and Darius Songaila on in the second quarter kept the Raptors from running away.


Videos

Photos