Roy's return spurs Blazers past Suns Thunder tie series with Lakers
By ANNE M. PETERSON
PORTLAND, Ore. — Brandon Roy was so antsy to return to the Trail Blazers that he campaigned via text message to coach Nate McMillan.
"Coach, I think I should play," he texted on the eve of yesterday's playoff game against the Phoenix Suns.
Luckily for the Blazers, McMillan agreed.
Roy was activated yesterday, then helped Portland to a 96-87 victory that evened the first-round series at two games apiece.
Eight days removed from arthroscopic surgery on his right knee, Roy made his surprising return to the court to the strains of the theme from "Rocky" blaring from the Rose Garden sound system, then went on to hit a key 3-pointer late in the game that shifted the momentum squarely in the Trail Blazers' favor.
"I just didn't feel right sitting in the training room knowing that I could contribute — so I just had to keep begging coach," Roy said afterward.
The first-round series now moves back to Phoenix tomorrow night. It wasn't supposed to include Roy, but things changed Friday.
LaMarcus Aldridge, who had been double-teamed all series without Roy, benefited the most from his return, with 31 points and 11 rebounds.
"As soon as he checked into the game, I got my first open shot with nobody guarding me, so I was thinking thank God he's back," Aldridge said.
Roy, who had the surgery to repair a torn meniscus, came into the game to a deafening ovation with 4:06 left in the first quarter and made a layup about a minute later to put Portland ahead 20-19.