Brandon Roy had 17 points, seven assists, and five rebounds—including the game-winning, fall-away three-pointer as time expired—as the Blazers defeated the Rockets, 101-99.
LaMarcus Aldridge also had 27 points, nine rebounds, and three blocks for Portland and Travis Outlaw had 14 points and 13 rebounds off the bench for the Blazers.
Tracy McGrady led Houston with 30 points, seven rebounds, eight assists, and two steals. Yao Ming added 13 points and six rebounds, and Ron Artest contributed nine points on three for nine shooting.
Travis Outlaw had 10 points and nine rebounds in 15 minutes of action by halftime, barely missing a double-double as Portland led by one, 51-50m in a evenly-matched contest.
The Blazers opened the third by commencing a 6-0 run to push the lead to seven, 58-51.
Steve Blake outsourced three assists during the third-quarter spurt, and Aldridge had eight points, one assist, and two blocks to nudge the Blazers towards victory.
Each team ordered their superstar to take advantage of a defensive mismatch—McGrady-Outlaw and Roy-Barry. While McGrady may have accumulated more points than Brandon Roy, the Blazers relied on the threat of Brandon's scoring rather than his actually conversion. Nevertheless, Roy did nail two jumpers from a standstill during a brief, self-oriented 4-0 run.
The fourth quarter opened with the Houston Rockets launching an air ball and Channing Frye responding by sinking a baseline hook, thanks to a tap out by 6'0" point guard Sergio Rodriguez.
Then, on the next Blazer drive, Rudy Fernandez pump-faked Brent Barry in the air and swished a three-pointer, giving Portland an eight point lead, 79-71.
But the Spaniard wasn't done. On Portland's next possession he orchestrated a series of nifty moves which paralyzed Brent Barry, leading to a pair of free throws. This made the lead 81-71, the biggest of the game.
An unexpected 9-1 Houston run brought the lead to within one, 84-83, but McGrady missed a free throw at the line that would have tied it.
Brandon Roy responded with a critical crossover on Ron Artest en route to a layup. One possession later, LaMarcus Aldridge snatched a offensive rebound from Yao and and put it back to cement the victory.
Or so we thought.
Houston forced overtime, thanks to 2003-04 Defensive Player of the Year Ron Artest.
Artest stripped Brandon Roy as Roy was attempting a shot, and time expired with the game tied 90-90.
Overtime began with the two teams battling back and forth, with McGrady and Roy quarterbacking their squads.
In the closing moments of overtime, with the game knotted at 96, Tracy McGrady misfired on a jumper. Travis Outlaw grabbed his 12th rebound of the night, and slung the ball up to Brandon Roy.
Roy juked Artest, causing separation, spun, and swished a turn-around jumper with 1.9 remaining in OT, giving the Blazers a 98-96 lead.
However, not to be outdone, Yao Ming arose on the Rockets' next possession.
Yao was thrown the ball and nailed a turn-around fadeaway, while being hammered by Travis Outlaw with 0.8 remaining. Ming was then ushered to the free-throw line, where he sunk the dagger in the heart of Portland fans, giving Houston the lead 99-98.
So we thought.
With 0.8 remaining, Steve Blake inbounded to Brandon Roy, who nailed a rainbow 30-footer as time expired, giving Portland the win, 101-99.
It was the best game I have ever seen in my entire life!