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Roy, Blazers break Knicks' hearts at the buzzer

Feb 9, 2009 - 3:42 AM PORTLAND, Oregon (Ticker) -- Portland Trail Blazers coach Nate McMillan admitted that his club was one step ahead of the New York Knicks on the final play of the game.

Brandon Roy scooped in a layup at the buzzer as the Trail Blazers completed a 13-point, fourth-quarter comeback en route to a wild 109-108 victory over the Knicks on Sunday.

McMillan explained that New York wanted point guard Chris Duhon on Roy instead of forward Jared Jeffries, who may have been confused on his duties. The Knicks were expecting a pick-and-roll that would have allowed them to switch defenders in the middle of the play.

"They pre-switched Duhon," the coach said. "They wanted him on Brandon and what veteran teams do is pick up where the play is going. But what LaMarcus (Aldridge) did was take Duhon out by cutting away which allowed Brandon a straight line to the ball.

"Jeffries was surprised. I'm sure in the huddle they had Duhon on Brandon and everyone had their matchup. When Jeffries was caught on Brandon, he probably was a little confused on what to do."

Roy scored 19 points and Greg Oden added 17 and 12 rebounds for the Trail Blazers, who blew a large lead of their own. Portland led by as many as 17 in the third quarter.

The Blazers called a timeout with 4.3 ticks left to set up a final play - or plays as it turned out, with the Knicks having a foul to give. New York, however, failed to foul Roy when he entered the lane, allowing the star guard to flip the ball on to the rim to get the winning roll.

"Yeah, I got a little nervous as it started to roll to the left because I've missed a lot of those this season," McMillan said. "Joel (Przybilla) said, 'You're going to make this one.' So, I went in there and gave a shot at it. We were fortunate enough to get a roll."

"You try to (foul), but you know they're going to pull up and shoot it," Knicks coach Mike D'Antoni said. "It's one of those things where if the players can do it, great. But if not, you have to rely on their ability to do it."

Nate Robinson scored 14 of his 19 points in the second half for the Knicks, who went scoreless in the last 1:54 en route to their fourth straight loss.

An outburst by Robinson came at the outset of the fourth quarter, when he scored 10 points in a four-minute span, including a 3-pointer to give the Knicks a 97-84 lead with 8:07 left.

The shot capped a remarkable 37-7 run that bridged the third and fourth quarters to erase the second-half deficit.

"Nate and Tim Thomas were hitting 3s all over the place," D'Antoni said. "We just played as well as we could play for that stretch. It's too bad we didn't hold on."

A native of Seattle, Robinson bought 33 tickets for this game as his family and friends came to see his return to the Pacific Northwest. Robinson gestured to his mother in the crowd after each bucket.

The diminutive guard scored a career-high 45 points in a 120-114 loss to the Blazers last season on March 8, 2008. It also was a disappointing result for New York in this one thanks to Robinson's former college teammate, Roy.

"We may joke around every once in a while, but it's pretty much business," Roy said of his on-court relationship with Robinson.

"Especially when he starts scoring, I take that personal. He started scoring in the second half. I'm a fan of his when I watch on TV, but not when we're playing him, so I want to see him do well just not against us."

The All-Star guard's foray into the paint capped a quick run in the final two minutes. Travis Outlaw swished two straight jumpers to pull Portland within 108-107 with 31 seconds remaining.

On the ensuing possession, the Knicks' Al Harrington drove to his left and forced a lefthanded layup hard off the glass over a group of defenders. Portland rushed the ball over midcourt and called timeout to set the stage for Roy, whose quick move off the dribble left the Knicks' defense in his wake.

"You're going to play him as hard as you can," D'Antoni said. "Sure, he's going to get it. He's done that about 10 times in his career and he's done a good job of it. We had guys on him, four guys at the rim on him. You don't want him to go left, and we went left."

David Lee collected 29 points and 11 rebounds for New York, which was coming off three straight home losses to powerhouse clubs. The Knicks fell to the Los Angeles Lakers, Cleveland Cavaliers and Boston Celtics at Madison Square Garden last week.