As the minutes ticked down in the third quarter, the Portland Trail Blazers looked completely lost, the Mavericks looked to be in complete control, and Game 4 of the opening round of the NBA Playoffs looked certain to be a rout. But in the fourth quarter, Brandon Roy caught fire, and the Blazers engineered an unbelievable rally to edge the Mavs by an 84-82 score.
What makes the Blazers' comeback even more remarkable is how abysmal they were in the minutes preceding it. Portland was in danger of going the entire third quarter without making a single field goal; it wasn't until 1:31 remained in the third quarter that LaMarcus Aldridge hit a bucket.
With 1:15 remaining in the third, the Mavs led 67-44 -- a 23-point lead that the Blazers seemed wholly incapable of testing. But when the Blazers found a little momentum to open the fourth, the Rose Garden crowd grew steadily louder. Brandon Roy caught fire, scoring 18 of his 24 points in the fourth quarter alone.
The climax came with just over a minute left in the game. Down by four, Roy drained a three and drew a foul, then sank his free throw to complete the four-point play and tie the game. Roy threw down the game-winner with 39 seconds remaining.
Again, this bears repeating: for over ten minutes, the Blazers couldn't hit a single field goal. And then, as though a switch was flipped, the same Blazers went on a 40-15 run in the final 13:31 to edge the Mavs in the final minute. It's difficult to imagine a much more improbable comeback than that.