Portland, OR (Sports Network) - Brandon Roy put the Trail Blazers on his back, netting 42 points, to carry Portland to a 107-103 victory over Houston in Game 2 of their Western Conference quarterfinal series at the Rose Garden.
Roy, who also grabbed seven rebounds, stepped up with 12 points in the final stanza, including a three-pointer during a pivotal 11-1 run down the stretch, as Portland bounced back from an embarrassing 108-81 Game 1 loss to tie the series.
"I thought [Roy] played a really good game," Portland head coach Nate McMillan said. "I don't think anything was forced. Artest is a really good defender and [Roy] took the shots he was given. I thought Brandon stayed pretty calm against that defense with Artest and [Shane] Battier."
LaMarcus Aldridge added 27 points and 12 boards for the Blazers, who are appearing in their first postseason in six years.
The Rockets had a balanced offensive attack but faltered in the fourth. Aaron Brooks led six players in double figures with 23 points, while Von Wafer and Ron Artest contributed 21 and 19 points, respectively, in the setback.
Yao Ming, coming off a 24-point effort in the series opener, was held to 11 points on 3-of-6 shooting with eight rebounds for Houston. The Rockets are searching for their first playoff series win since 1997, a span of six straight first-round exits.
Game 3 is scheduled for Friday night in Houston.
It was a back-and-forth struggle throughout the fourth quarter, as Yao's two free throws at the five-minute mark resulted in an 89-87 Houston edge.
But Greg Oden sparked Portland to 11 of the next 12 points, throwing down a Roy miss for his only field goal of the game. Oden also caused a turnover on the defensive end and Steve Blake's layup gave Portland a 91-89 lead with four minutes to play.
"We had a shot there in the fourth quarter with the score tied, but we gave up an offensive board and they took control," Rockets head coach Rick Adelman said. "Roy was terrific and so was Aldridge."
Brooks stemmed the tide with a free throw, but after Travis Outlaw sank a basket for Portland, Roy buried a trey. Outlaw then slammed home a dunk coming off a bad pass from Brooks, putting the Blazers comfortably in front, 98-90, with 1:03 to play.
Brooks hit a trio of threes in the final minute to give Houston a glimmer of hope, but Rudy Fernandez calmly sank two free throws with 1.5 seconds left to make it a two-possession game to seal the outcome.
Portland overcame a sluggish start to score 10 of the opening quarter's final 12 points, as Roy buried a three to give the hosts a 28-26 edge.
The teams played virtually even throughout the second, with neither holding a lead larger than four points. Back-to-back jumpers from Roy yielded a 53-51 Portland advantage at intermission.
Houston had its first big stretch early in the third, going on a 12-2 run that Luis Scola capped with consecutive buckets for a 63-56 cushion with under eight minutes to play.
The Blazers, though, immediately responded with 10 straight -- eight from Roy -- to regain the lead, and the teams ended up tied, 72-72, at the end of the quarter.
Although the Rockets haven't had much success in the postseason recently, they have never lost to Portland in the playoffs, winning a pair of five-game series by 3-1 margins in both 1987 and 1994...Scola had 12 points, while Kyle Lowry added 10 for Houston, which made half of its field goals but just 7- of-20 from downtown...Fernandez ended with 11 points, while Blake had 10 for Portland, which committed just six turnovers and shot 51.4 percent from the floor.