Roy awakens, powers Blazers past NuggetsDec 24, 2008 - 6:44 AM By James Reddick PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer
PORTLAND, Oregon (Ticker) -- After being held to 15 points through seven quarters against the Denver Nuggets' swarming defense, Brandon Roy broke through in the final period to give the Portland Blazers a 101-92 win on Tuesday.
A day after scoring just eight points, Roy scored 12 of his 19 points in the fourth quarter to give the Blazers the back half of a home-and-home series with the Nuggets.
The game remained tight throughout the fourth quarter, until Portland went on a 9-3 run, capped by a 3-point shot by Steve Blake for a 95-88 lead with two minutes remaining.
LaMarcus Aldridge helped the Blazers seal the victory with an offensive rebound and dunk after Blake's miss with 30 seconds remaining to push the score to 99-92.
"Last night they caught us off guard with the schemes they ran on Brandon," said Aldridge, who led the Blazers with 22 points on 7-of-12 shooting. "I think they focused on Brandon so much they forgot about me."
In a back and forth first half, the Blazers went on a 15-0 run midway through the second quarter that gave them their biggest lead of the game, 46-34, with 2:44 remaining in the half.
Blake and Rudy Fernandez each hit a 3-pointer during the stretch. The Nuggets responded, however, with an 8-1 run to close the period.
The Blazers had a mediocre third quarter, turning the ball over seven times and shooting 6-of--15.
With 4:18 remaining in the period, Travis Outlaw had a lackadaisical inbounds pass stolen by Nene, who went in for an uncontested dunk that evened the score at 58-58. Nene finished with 17 points and 13 rebounds for the Nuggets - who were without Carmelo Anthony (elbow) - in 39 minutes.
The fourth quarter was a different story for the Blazers, as they scored 34 points, including 15 from the free-throw line, and shot 8-of-17. The Nuggets also shot well in the fourth, 9- of-16, but Roy's emergence was the difference.
With 6:20 remaining, Roy finally was left open and hit a 3-pointer to give the Blazers an 82-80 lead.
Then, in the final two minutes, he managed to pass out of a double-team to Blake, who hit a 3-pointer as the shot clock expired to give the Blazers a 95-87 lead.
With Greg Oden in foul trouble, Joel Przybilla, came off the bench to have a huge game on the boards.
The backup center grabbed 19 rebounds, including five on the offensive glass. He also added 10 points.
"What a great game by Joel," Blazers head coach Nate McMillan said. "He dominated the boards. They were leaving him and going to the trap ... and he made them pay by getting on the glass on both ends of the floor."
The Nuggets shot just 43 percent from the field but were kept in the game with the 3-point shooting of Linas Kleiza, who was 5-of-7 from behind the arc. He finished with 20 points.
"We knew that these two games would be playoff-type games," Nuggets point guard Chauncey Billups said. "They cracked up to be just that."
The teams are tied at 18-11 for first place in the Northwest Division.
PORTLAND 101 FINAL
Dec 24 12:34 AM
PORTLAND 67 END, 3RD QTR
Dec 23 11:54 PM
PORTLAND 47 HALFTIME
Dec 23 11:08 PM
PORTLAND 25 END, 1ST QTR
Dec 23 10:35 PM
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