Game 1 of their first-round playoff series was no exception, and the homecourt advantage the Suns worked so hard to get is history after Portland pulled away over the final 4 1/2 minutes to beat them 105-100 on Sunday night.
Andre Miller scored 15 points in the fourth quarter and tied his career playoff high with 31 points as Portland made Phoenix the only home team to lose in a playoff opener.
LaMarcus Aldridge added 22 points and Nicolas Batum 18 for Portland in a game played in the methodical style the Blazers wanted. Jerryd Bayless also had 18 for the Blazers, 10 in the fourth quarter, but missed two free throws with 12.2 seconds left to give Phoenix a shot to tie. Steve Nash’s 3-point try was well short, though, and Miller’s two free throws iced the victory.
The Suns won 14 of their last 16, including the final eight at home, and the Blazers were well aware that they had been written off when Roy went down.
Roy is out for the series after arthroscopic knee surgery, and the Blazers lost Greg Oden and Joel Przybilla earlier in the season. But Portland won two of three against the Suns, including a win at Phoenix when the Blazers didn’t have Roy.
Miller was in his attack mode from the start, but found another gear in the final quarter.
he Suns, the NBA’s highest-scoring team at 110 points per game, never got into that fluid style but still led 87-85 after Stoudemire’s 16-footer with 4:57 to play.
Miller, though, made his only 3-point attempt of the night to put Portland ahead for good 88-87 4:28 from the finish, then Aldridge sank two free throws to make it 90-87 with 4:12 remaining. Nash’s 22-footer cut it to 90-89, but Miller made two free throws, Aldridge tipped one in over Stoudemire, and Portland was up 94-89 with 3:37 left.