Quantcast 2011 NBA Western Conference Playoffs: Round One - Dallas vs Portland

 

2011 NBA Playoff Preview – Western Conference First Round

Western Conference First Round Game 4 - Portland 84, Dallas 82 – Series tied, 2-2

 

It was a comeback for the ages. It was also the kind of epic collapse that’s become an all-too-typical part of playoff sagas for the Dallas Mavericks.

Yes, one man etched his name even more deeply into the hearts of Portlanders and Oregonians, but the even bigger story than Brandon Roy has to be the fact that the Dallas Mavericks, who squandered a commanding lead in the 2006 NBA Finals, are on the verge of choking away another playoff series. The Mavs, who lost as a top seed in the first round of the 2007 playoffs and got bounced as a two seed last year against San

Antonio, are now staring at the real prospect of blowing a series that should be 3-1 in their favor.

However, one has to give credit where credit is due: As much as the Mavs wilted at crunch time, a hobbled but still brilliant ballplayer made enough plays to lift his team to the finish line first.

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Brandon Roy took over the fourth quarter and the Portland Trail Blazers overcame a huge fourth quarter deficit to tie this Western Conference first-round series at two games apiece. The Mavericks had turned a two-point halftime advantage into a twentysomething margin as time ticked off the clock late in the third quarter. Peja Stojakovic hit back-to-back three pointers and Dallas found itself up 67-44 with 1:15 remaining in the third period. It seemed the Mavericks were just over 13 minutes from grabbing a commanding 3-1 series lead.

Enter Mr. Roy. The injury plagued All-Star hit a three-pointer just before time expired in the third quarter to cut the lead to 20. It was a sign of things to come. No one will soon forget his fourth quarter performance. Roy was unstoppable, scoring 18 points in the final stanza, none more important than his four-point play with 1:06 remaining to tie the contest at 82. With the Rose Garden crowd at a deafening volume in Rip City, the Blazers got yet another defensive stop, and the stage was set for Roy to do the rest. Roy drove the lane, pulled up, and banked in a 10-foot jump shot to give the Blazers their first lead since the 5:31 mark of the first quarter. On the ensuing possession, Jason Kidd was unable to find the rim as his three-point shot clanged off the backboard with under 30 seconds to play. Dallas chose not foul, and after Roy’s missed jump shot with three seconds left, Kidd advanced the ball to Jason Terry for a good look to win the ball game at the buzzer. His shot fell harmlessly to the floor and the Rose Garden erupted as the comeback was made secure.

 

 

Roy finished the game 24 points on 9-of-13 shooting. Both teams struggled from the field during long portions of the game. Despite scoring 20 points, Dirk Nowitzki was surprisingly silent during the final portion of the game. Shockingly, Nowitzki had zero shot attempts in the final 5:20 of the fourth quarter. That was the capping detail of another shrinking-violet act the basketball world has come to expect from Dallas in late April or early May. Two more losses will create a colder than cold offseason in the Lone Star State.

 

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By: Matt Zemek
Pro Basketball Fans Staff Writer


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