As it turns out, it wasn't -- but instead of Houston closing the door, it was the Blazers who pulled away in the final quarter, winning 88-77. How did they do it? Roy and Aldridge, of course; the duo each scored 25 points, defying their respective ailments to help the Blazers stave off elimination for at least one more night.
The Blazers actually controlled this game from the very beginning, jumping out to a double-digit lead in the first quarter and never trailing again until the fourth quarter. When the Rockets threatened to turn the tables with a four-point lead, the Blazers turned on the jets with a 15-0 run, followed by another 8-0 a few minutes later.
Roy scored 14 of his points in the final nine minutes and after the game credited Steve Blake for helping set the tone. From Jason Quick:
"It's now or never," Blake said with the Blazers trailing 68-64 in the fourth quarter.Something else worth mentioning is the free-throw disparity: the Trail Blazers had 23 attempts from the line; the Rockets, just 10. This reverses the trend from the first four games.
[...] That's when Blake emerged from the huddle, walked onto the court and did a U-turn to face his teammates. Standing near midcourt, he delivered his succinct yet pointed message.
[...] "It wasn't any secret," Roy said. "But as soon as he said it, I walked away and I was like, 'It is now or never.' And I decided I was going to do whatever I can to get this win. It was like 'Let's go do it.'"
It may have come at a cost -- Nate McMillan (and Rick Adelman, too, for that matter) was fined $25,000 for comments directed at the officiating -- but if the end result was making the refs self-conscious about calls going against the Blazers, it was money well spent.