Brandon Roy Blazers Outlast Nuggets : During a news conference pre-game, Gerald Wallace has recently promised to play, what position do anything and add features that led him to help the Trail Blazers win.
Nicolas Batum fan wearing a shirt made a half court shot in the second quarter to win a brand new Toyota.
And the Blazers, playing a patchwork list because of their trade deadline, has transformed a gritty performance, impressive and unforgettable season Friday night in the Rose Garden.
The Blazers defeated the Denver Nuggets 107-106 in overtime before a raucous sellout crowd at the Rose Garden, climbing to within 3 1/2 games of the Oklahoma City Thunder in the Northwest Division standings.
The Blazers (33-25) suited up just nine players and had no center, but it didn't matter on a surreal night that included a did-that-just-happen performance from Brandon Roy, another rugged night from LaMarcus Aldridge and a host of contributions from every one of the nine available Blazers.
"They played with their hearts tonight," Wallace said after the game in an interview at midcourt. "It gave me the itch. I want to get out there with them."
The Blazers trailed by as many as 11 points in the second half and by six with 2:06 remaining. But Rudy Fernandez and Roy combined to make three three-pointers over the final 39.9 seconds of regulation -- including a game-saving three by Roy with 5.8 seconds left -- to force overtime. And in the extra period, the Blazers, running on fumes, had just enough to win.
The Blazers made just two field goals in overtime, but won the game in the closing seconds with their defense and clutch free throw shooting. After Aaron Afflalo made two tough, clutch shots near the end of overtime to give the Nuggets a 106-104 lead with 1:00 left, the Nuggets (34-26) did not score again.
Wesley Matthews made a free throw with 51.8 seconds left, inching the Blazers to within 106-105, and Fernandez poked the ball away from Raymond Felton on the next possession to set up the game-winning points.
Aldridge, who played an incredible 50 minutes, 55 seconds, was fouled on a drive with 23.1 seconds left and made both free throws to give the Blazers their 107-106 edge. Danilo Gallinari and Afflalo missed two three-pointers in the closing seconds before confetti fell onto the court as the delirious crowd of 20,659 went nuts.
"It's a great win for us," Blazers coach Nate McMillan said. "It really is."
Aldridge played center all night for the short-handed Blazers and finished with 24 points, 14 rebounds and three blocks in a gutsy performance. And Roy showed flashes of his All-Star form, scoring 18 points and collecting five rebounds in more than 24 minutes off the bench. Ten of his points came in the pivotal fourth quarter.
Fernandez, who started at shooting guard in the Blazers' small lineup, had 18 points, six rebounds and five assists, Matthews added 16 points and seven rebounds and Andre Miller nearly had a triple-double.
"We just found a way to execute down the stretch," said Miller, who finished with 18 points, nine rebounds and nine assists.
On a night that featured many incredible moments, few rivaled the effort turned in by Roy. In his second game back after rehabilitation from double knee surgery, Roy entered the game under a 15-minute playing time restriction. He ended up playing 24:18, making 7 of 14 field goals, including 2 of 5 three pointers.
Between the game-saving fourth-quarter shot, a solid defensive effort at the end of regulation on a drive by Ty Lawson and his extended playing time, it was vintage Roy. And it offered hope that his once-shaky career might not be over after all.
"Those guys played a lot of minutes," Roy said. "I told Coach, 'If I have to go over mine, let's do it.'"
The Blazers had just enough man power to overcome a hot night from Gallinari -- who carried the Nuggets for stretches to finish with 30 points and nine rebounds -- and solid games from Wilson Chandler (20 points, six rebounds) and Afflalo (19 points).
"They kept making big shot after big shot," Roy said. "Give them credit."