Brandon Roy willed the Blazers to victory on Saturday with a vintage late game performance. Roy helped Portland overcome a 20 point fourth quarter deficit, contributing 18 exhilarating points in a miraculous final quarter.
Down 23 points, late in the third, Portland looked to be in serious trouble. It seemed certain that the Blazers would be heading back to Dallas trailing 3-1 in the series on the brink of elimination.
It was right at this point in the game that Brandon Roy put the team on his back and carried them to victory.
It was less than a week ago when Roy played only 8 minutes in game 2 and was struggling mightily with his role on the team. Throughout this season Roy has been hampered by injuries and hasn’t been the same player he once was. This would all change in the 4th quarter of game 4 against the Mavericks.
The Blazers were in need of a miracle heading into the 4th. The team was having trouble scoring and no one seemed to have it going.
In the opening minutes of the quarter Portland would go on a run to get the game within 10 points. Solid defense and good shot selection allowed the Blazers to get back into the game.
Roy would lead the charge, knocking down shot after shot to bring the team close heading into the final minutes. He wasn’t simply taking jumpers, he was getting to the hoop and attacking off the dribble. It looked to be the Brandon Roy of old, the man who could single handedly win a game for his squad.
The Blazers fought back from 23 down to get the deficit to 4 with 1:36 left to play. Gerald Wallace drove to the lane and passed to Roy, who came through again with a 21 foot jumper to bring Portland within two. Dallas would then come down and answer with a Shawn Marion bucket, down in the post, to make it 82-78.
It was at this point, with 1:06 left on the clock, that Brandon Roy would deliver the play of the game. Roy pulled up from three point range, with Marion right in his face, knocked down the shot and drew the foul. Roy went to the line and hit the free throw to tie the game. After this, Portland would never look back.
After a good defensive possession Brandon came down and hit a runner off the backboard to put Portland ahead for good. The comeback would be complete after another Portland stop and a missed Jason Terry 3 pointer with time running out.
A few days ago I wrote about the decline of Brandon Roy. After game 2, I didn’t think he had anything left. He proved me wrong on Saturday as he turned in a performance that was reminiscent of two years ago.
On the biggest stage in basketball, at the most important time, he took it upon himself to take over the game. He gave CPR to a Portland team who was teetering on the edge. In a situation where the Blazers looked as if they had given up, Brandon Roy refused to be beaten.
While the man may not have a meniscus in either knee and he doesn’t have the same pep in his step he once did, he proved one more time that he is one of the fiercest competitors in the league. Portland needed a miracle heading into the fourth quarter and Roy delivered.
This was truly a magical comeback, both for Roy and the Blazers. He proved once again, that the fourth quarter is indisputably Brandon Roy time.