trailblazers

The best Blazers game I’ve ever been to…

We Almost Left…

The date was April 23, 2011. This was Game 4 of the 2011 NBA Playoffs. The Portland Trail Blazers were getting their asses handed to them by the Dallas Mavericks.

My friend and I seriously contemplated leaving early.

With less than a minute left in the third, the Blazers found themselves down as many as 23 points. Both my friend and I lost our ID’s the week before, so neither of us could even buy a beer. We were stuck watching this beatdown sober.

Nothing was going right for the Blazers early against the Mavs.

Nothing was going right for the Blazers early against the Mavs.

Then, Brandon Roy happened.

The Blazers seemed to gain a little bit of a spark after a LaMarcus Aldridge two-pointer and a Roy three. The deficit had been narrowed to 18 points heading into the fourth quarter.

It was at that moment that everything changed in an instant. This is what Roy did for that arena. Everyone loved him – he was a hero to those fans — an icon (and it ended up being his final game at the Rose Garden).

Even with his deteriorating knees that held him back from being the Brandon Roy that we all grew to love, he was able to pull out every bit of game left inside of him for one final hurrah.

As the third quarter came to a close, out of nowhere, this huge inflatable tube thing comes up from the bleachers and the music, along with the fans, got as loud as can possibly be. This was now a completely different atmosphere, and it was at that moment that my friend and I gained hope and decided to stay.

All hope had changed. Everyone in the Rose Garden Arena knew that this team wasn’t going to give up.

The 4th Quarter

The Blazers came out in the fourth playing their game, but Dallas was right there with them for the first few minutes trading baskets. The Blazers were able to dwindle the lead down to 13 within the first couple minutes.

Dallas would then score just seven points in the last seven minutes of play, as the Brandon Roy show took place. Aldridge also scored a quick two to cut it to 11 with the assist from Roy.

Shortly later, Roy drained a 17-footer to cut it to single digits. This was now a manageable reach for the Blazers.

Dallas wasn’t going to go away easy, as Dirk Nowitzki knocked down two free-throws. After the Blazers score two two-point shots, Jason Terry hit a three-pointer. Dallas’ lead was back up to 10 with just three-and-a-half minutes left. Could this be it?

Not so fast. Roy wasn’t even close to being done.

Wesley Matthews scored an easy layup on the next possession off an assist from Roy. A missed shot by Terry led to a basket from Roy. The score was 80-74.

Dallas came out of a timeout only to have Gerald Wallace draw an offensive foul against Nowitzki. Aldridge then made a 10-footer on another assist from Roy.

Brandon Roy orchestrated one of the greatest comebacks in franchise history against Dallas.

Brandon Roy orchestrated one of the greatest comebacks in franchise history against Dallas.

Matthews stole the ball! After a foul, the Blazers reset and Roy hit a deep two-pointer to bring Portland within striking distance. It is now 80-78. It was so loud that I could hardly hear myself think.

Shawn Marion answered with the ugliest shot of the night to put Dallas back up four points with 01:19 left on the clock. The look in Roy’s eye was something fierce, and you knew he was taking the next shot.

He pulled from deep — it went in! And the foul! Roy drained the free-throw and it was a tie ball game.

The Blazers got a chance to take the lead. Who do they go to? Brandon Roy, of course.

Roy takes his man down the middle, pulls up from about nine feet… it bounced around and in. The Blazers took the lead! Thousands of high-fives, hugs and loud cheers instantly fill the stands. Is this real life? Did this seriously just just happen?

Jason Kidd misses a three — an air ball if I can remember right. Unfortunately for the Blazers, this left them with more than 24 seconds on the clock, meaning that Dallas could get the ball back. One basket puts this one away for good.

Dallas decides to let their defense do the work and opt not to foul. They played outstanding defense on this possession, resulting in a deep 3 that misses by Roy.

Here it goes. Terry jets down the court and pulls up a good look from behind the three-point line. If this goes in, this is the most devastating game I had ever been to.

That shot was the longest shot I’ve ever watched. Terry missed. The Blazers hold on for not only the greatest comeback of recent history, but the best game that I have ever been to.

I can’t believe we almost left…

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About Jason Hartzog

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  • Bryant Knox

    Wish I could have been there. My all-time best game in person was the 4OT game vs. PHX back in 97. Not many remember it, but I’ll never forget.

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