Brandon Roy's 18 fourth-quarter points helped erase an 18-point fourth-quarter deficit as the Portland Trail Blazers defeated the Dallas Mavericks to even the series at two games apiece.
This came less than a week after Roy admitted he was disappointed after playing just eight minutes in the Trail Blazers Game 2 loss in Dallas.
Since the series shifted back to Portland's Rose Garden, Roy has elevated his play in front of the home crowd, including scoring a team-high 24 points off the bench in Saturday's victory.
Roy's 24 points were tied for the second-most off the bench by a Trail Blazers player in the last 20 seasons. Only Danny Ainge, with 25 off the bench against the Suns in the 1992 playoffs, had more.
Roy took over the game down the stretch as he scored the Trail Blazers last eight points. In fact in the fourth quarter he outscored the Mavericks by himself (18-to-15).
He was more than just a scorer as he accounted for 33 of the team's final 43 points. Roy either scored or assisted on 14 of the Blazers' final 17 field goals.
The comeback from 18 points down entering the fourth quarter tied the second-largest deficit overcome entering the fourth quarter in NBA playoff history.
Only the Celtics comeback from 21 points down entering the fourth quarter against the Nets in the 2002 Eastern Conference Finals marked a larger deficit overcome.
For as good as Portland was in the fourth quarter, they were that bad in the third. Dallas dominated as Portland missed its first 15 field goal attempts to begin the second half. The Mavericks actually opened the third on a 30-to-9 run before Portland scored the final five points of the quarter.
Dallas could not continue its momentum in the fourth quarter as the Mavs shot only 29.4 percent from the field. They were just 1-for-8 from three-point range after going 9-for-18 over the first three quarters.
They also failed to get the job done defensively in the last 12 minutes of the game. Through three quarters the Trail Blazers had just 14 made field goals. In the fourth quarter alone Portland made 15 of its 20 attempts.
While Brandon Roy took over the game in the fourth, Dallas’ star Dirk Nowitzki faded, taking just three shots and scoring just four points in the final frame.
Still Nowitzki could be the key for Dallas in Game 5 as he has been on the other side of this equation before.
In 2001 Nowitzki led the Mavericks back from a 14-point deficit entering the fourth quarter of a playoff game against the Spurs. While the win was big, it was still just one win and the Mavericks lost the next game and the series.
Dallas can take solace in that each of the two previous times a team lost a playoff game after leading by 18 points entering the fourth quarter, the team rebounded to win the next game and eventually the series.