Just a few days removed from his postgame meltdown in which he questioned his coach for not giving him enough minutes, Brandon Roy is officially back as an NBA superstar.
With his surgically repaired knees holding up just fine, Roy delivered one of the greatest fourth-quarter performances in playoff history when he carried the Trail Blazers to a come-from-behind win against the shell-shocked Mavericks, 84-82.
Roy, who was 9-of-13 from the field in 24 minutes, scored 18 of his 24 points in the fourth, a quarter in which the Blazers – who trailed by as much as 23 points in the second – outscored the Mavs 40-15.
“After what I’ve been through this year, there were times when I didn’t know if I’d ever play basketball again,” Roy said after the game. “When we were down 20 points, I had to step up my play. I had nothing to lose. It was a special night, and I’ll remember it forever.”
With 39.2 seconds left, Roy made a go-ahead bank shot over Shawn Marion that gave the Trail Blazers an 84-82 lead. Dallas had an opportunity regain the lead, but Jason Kidd’s wide-open 3-pointer sailed wide right and didn’t draw iron. 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. The series is now tied at 2 apiece.
“Brandon just did a great job of being poised,” said Blazers coach Nate McMillan. “There is nobody, including Brandon Roy, that wants to see him on the floor as much as I do. We all up here in Portland know what he’s capable of doing, and tonight was the Brandon Roy of old. I mean he took the game on his shoulders and carried the team, willed the team, to a win.
“In the fourth quarter, I saw the Brandon of old. I mean he wasn’t passing the ball. He was gonna take the shot and he was gonna live with the result.”
McMillan added: “You could just see it in his eyes that he was going to take control of this game.”
Roy’s incredible performance wasn’t lost on his peers.
Chris Paul posted on his Twitter page: “Too happy for B.Roy! Really good dude and unstoppable when he’s feeling good… He deserves the spotlight. True Leader!”
Quentin Richardson tweeted: “S/O to B-Roy!! Dude did his thing out there tonite. Especially after what he’s gone thru wit the injuries. He was amazing out there tonite!