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Roy scores 42 as resilient Blazers tie series with Rockets

PORTLAND, Ore. – After winning their first playoff game in six years, the Portland Trail Blazers couldn’t help but be a little amazed with their victory over the Houston Rockets.

“We kind of laughed about it, ‘Man, it’s hard winning games in the playoffs. It takes a lot of work,’” said Brandon Roy, who had 42 points in Portland’s 107-103 win Tuesday night.

The playoff series, now even at one game apiece, moves to Houston for Game 3 on Friday.

Aaron Brooks led a late charge and finished with 23 points for Houston, which has not made it out of the first round since 1997. Von Wafer came off the bench to add 21.

LaMarcus Aldridge had 27 points and 12 rebounds for the Trail Blazers, who had never dropped the first two games of a playoff series at home and played one of their most physical games of the season.

“Now we know what we have to do,” Aldridge said. “We have to be physical with these guys and play with confidence.”

Greg Oden’s dunk pulled the Blazers into an 89-all tie with 4:45 left, before Steve Blake’s finger roll basket put them ahead.

Portland extended the lead to 96-90 after Travis Outlaw hit a jumper and Roy made a falling-down 3-pointer.

The Rockets closed to 104-100 on Brooks’ 3-pointer with 6.3 seconds left. After Roy hit a free throw, Brooks made another 3 to make it 105-103 with 1.5 seconds to go.

Rudy Fernandez sealed the win by hitting two free throws for Portland.

“Now we’ve got ourselves a playoff series,” said Houston guard Ron Artest.

The Rockets took the first game 108-81 by building a big lead and stunning the nervous Trail Blazers from the start. Yao Ming was perfect, making all nine of his shots from the field and all six of his free throws for 24 points, all in the first half.

Blazers center Joel Przybilla changed it up against Yao for Game 2, fronting him rather than playing behind him. And coach Nate McMillan used both Przybilla and Oden – both 7-footers – at the same time, something he’s done just once before.

Yao had 11 points and eight rebounds but got into foul trouble.

“We guessed what they would try to do, which was obviously fronts and double-teams,” Yao said. “They used both tonight and tried to get the ball out of my hands. I think they did well.”

But Przybilla provided more than just defense, according to Outlaw.

“Joel pulled us together telling us we can do this,” he said. “We talked with each other. When we got down, no one would go into their individual mood. No one got out of their game. We played together.

Portland had not been to the playoffs since the 2003 season. The team clinched the West’s fourth seed and home-court advantage with a win over Denver in the regular season finale.

Fans at the Rose Garden were undeterred by the Game 1 loss. One held a sign reading: “I Still Believe.”

Lakers go up 2-0

LOS ANGELES – Utah kept coming, relentlessly closing within six points time and again. The Los Angeles Lakers never let their lead get away.

Kobe Bryant scored 26 points, Pau Gasol added 22 and Lamar Odom had 19 off the bench in a 119-109 victory over the Utah Jazz on Tuesday night, giving Los Angeles a 2-0 lead in the best-of-7 first-round Western Conference playoff series.

The Lakers’ Phil Jackson notched his 195th career postseason victory, the most of any coach in NBA history.

Deron Williams scored a career playoff-high 35 points and Carlos Boozer had 20 points and 10 rebounds for the Jazz, who head home for Game 3 on Thursday. They again played without injured center Mehmet Okur.

Utah lost its 11th in a row at Staples Center, including playoff games.

The Lakers’ shooting sizzled in the opening quarter, but they found themselves in a tight battle throughout much of the second half.

They stretched their lead to 96-81 early in the fourth. The Jazz relied mostly on Williams, and he scored six in a row to get his team to 105-99 with 5:22 remaining.

Boozer scored five consecutive points to leave the Jazz trailing 109-106 with 3:18 to go. Odom’s fastbreak layup put the Lakers ahead 111-106, enough of a cushion to survive two missed free throws by Gasol.

Citizen Online Archive, 2006-2009

This archive contains all the stories that appeared on the Tucson Citizen's website from mid-2006 to June 1, 2009.

In 2010, a power surge fried a server that contained all of videos linked to dozens of stories in this archive. Also, a server that contained all of the databases for dozens of stories was accidentally erased, so all of those links are broken as well. However, all of the text and photos that accompanied some stories have been preserved.

For all of the stories that were archived by the Tucson Citizen newspaper's library in a digital archive between 1993 and 2009, go to Morgue Part 2

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