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Monday, April 25, 2011

Blazers stun Mavs with 23-point rally


PORTLAND, Ore. — Brandon Roy's season had been fraught with uncertainty, first over the stability of his knees, then over his diminished role with the team.

News photo
Texas two-step: Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki, left, and Trail Blazers forward LaMarcus Aldridge battle for position during their Western Conference playoff game on Saturday in Portland. The Blazers won 84-82. AP

All those doubts melted away on Saturday when he led the Portland Trail Blazers to one of the greatest comebacks in NBA playoff history.

With 39.2 seconds left, Roy made a go-ahead bank shot that gave the Trail Blazers a stunning 84-82 comeback victory over the Dallas Mavericks — and evened their first-round playoff series at two games apiece.

Roy finished with 24 points — 18 in the fourth quarter alone — as the Blazers erased a 23-point deficit. Portland became the third NBA team in the shot clock era to win a playoff game when trailing by 18 points or more heading into the fourth quarter.

"I've been in some pretty good zones before," the three-time All-Star said. "But nothing like tonight."

After the victory, Roy was swallowed by the embrace of several of his teammates.

"It still just doesn't feel real yet," he said. "It was just an unbelievable game and comeback. With everything I've been through this season, they just all came into that moment there on the court when guys we're grabbing and cheering me on. It was real special."

Trailing 67-44 in the third quarter, the Blazers closed the gap to 77-70 after Roy's step-back jumper.

Jason Terry answered with a 3-pointer but then Roy drove down the lane and finished to narrow it to 80-74 with 2:32 to go. LaMarcus Aldridge added a turnaround jumper.

Roy traded baskets with Shawn Marion before making a 3-pointer and a free throw with 1:06 left to tie it at 82.

After Roy's go-ahead jumper from out front banked in, the Mavericks missed two 3-point tries, the first from Jason Kidd and the second from Terry as time ran out. Roy defended Terry on the final shot.

Dirk Nowitzki had 20 points to lead the Mavericks. Terry finished with 13 off the bench.

Grizzlies 91, Spurs 88

In Memphis, Zach Randolph scored 25 points, including a rare 3-pointer with 41.9 seconds left, and the Grizzlies beat the Spurs for the franchise's first playoff victory on its home court.

Memphis is trying to become just the fourth team to knock off the top-seeded team.

Pacers 89, Bulls 84

In Indianapolis, Danny Granger scored 24 points and the Pacers avoided elimination by holding off a furious rally to beat the Bulls.

Thunder 97, Nuggets 94

In Denver, Serge Ibaka tied his career high with 22 points and sparked the Thunder's win over the Nuggets that gave them a 3-0 lead in their best-of-7 playoff series.

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