SEATTLE -- Brandon Roy had just taken over his first NBA game while playing in front of his hometown family, friends and former college coaches, who were sitting in the third row.
He ran the Portland offense in the second half. He followed coach Nate McMillan's halftime demand to shoot more off the countless screens that the Trail Blazers kept setting for the former Washington All-American. He made 10 of 16 shots in a dazzling NBA debut.
So what did his new teammates give Roy after his 20 points and Zach Randolph's 30 -- including six straight to erase a nine-point deficit -- allowed Portland to beat the Seattle SuperSonics 110-106 Wednesday night and end the Blazers' 16-game losing streak?
"C'mon Rook! Let's go! Shower!" Roy's veteran mates bellowed as Roy beamed and basked in his night -- while still in full uniform almost 30 minutes after his coming-out party ended.
"I'll remember this forever," Roy said. "Not only to play well, but to win the game. It was an incredible feeling."
Randolph's instant assessment?
"All-Star," he said, meaning now instead of perhaps the few years McMillan had said it may take Roy to get there. "He's my rookie of the year already. First game."
Randolph's 14-for-15 free throw shooting, Travis Outlaw's free throw with 18 seconds left -- which gave Portland its first lead since the second quarter -- and Ime Udoka's rebound of Outlaw's miss and subsequent foul shots with 16 seconds to go were the decisive plays that spoiled the 40th and perhaps final season opener for Seattle.
Roy stole new Sonics owner Clay Bennett's show before a sold-out crowd. Bennett has said he could move the team if he doesn't have a commitment by next summer for a new arena in the Seattle area.
Rashard Lewis had 25 points but rushed a 3-point miss late when the Sonics had the lead and needed to run off some time.
Luke Ridnour added 22 points and 13 assists for Seattle, which controlled all but two stretches -- early in the second quarter and the end of the game.
"We didn't manage the clock very well," Sonics coach Bob Hill, remembering another quick shot from Damien Wilkins.
Roy and Seattle All-Star Ray Allen guarded each other throughout. Allen was just 3-for-7 shooting in the first half, but 6-for-13 after halftime to finish with 22 points.
But he missed an open 3-pointer off a set play with five seconds left and Seattle down 108-106. Wilkins missed a follow from the baseline to essentially end it.
Roy scored eight points in the final 3:14 of the third period to pull Portland within 78-76 entering the fourth. Then his jumper that beat the shot clock buzzer with just over two minutes left pulled Portland within 101-98, after Seattle had gone back up by 8.
"He is a great player," Lewis said.
Randolph's two free throws tied it at 104 to set up the finish and a win for the NBA's worst team last season (21-61).
A 16-0 Portland run in the first half erased Seattle's early, 12-point lead and gave the Blazers their only lead before the late rally.
Now is Roy up to doing this 81 more times?
"That's the scary part," Roy said. "Man, you get four more games before next week."
Mouhamed Sene, Seattle's 20-year-old, first-round draft choice from Senegal, sprained his right ankle diving for a loose ball in the third quarter. He hobbled directly to the locker room after not scoring and getting two rebounds in 12 minutes.
He returned to ride an exercise bike behind the bench but not play. Hill said Sene could have, but that the Sonics needed more offense late.
Sene was starting because Robert Swift is out for the season with a torn ACL and Danny Fortson was suspended for one game because of a flagrant foul in a preseason game.
|Rookie Brandon Roy and Zach Randolph combine for 50 points as Portland hold off host Seattle. (AP)|
|Portland (1-0) «||20||28||28||34||110|
|POR:Z. Randolph 30 Pts
POR:Z. Randolph 10 Reb
POR:J. Jack 6 Ast
|SEA:R. Lewis 25 Pts
SEA:R. Lewis 8 Reb
SEA:L. Ridnour 13 Ast
|Players of the Game|
|J. Jack, PG||44||3-8||7-8||6||6||3||13|
|B. Roy, G||35||10-16||0-0||3||2||3||20|
|Z. Randolph, PF||34||8-18||14-15||10||2||2||30|
|I. Udoka, G||26||3-4||3-4||2||1||2||10|
|J. Przybilla, C||13||0-1||1-4||4||0||3||1|
|T. Outlaw, PF||24||4-6||1-2||2||0||2||9|
|J. Dixon, SG||23||8-10||2-2||1||1||2||18|
|J. Magloire, C||19||3-4||0-0||5||0||2||6|
|M. Webster, G||14||1-3||0-0||4||1||1||3|
|R. LaFrentz, PF||8||0-3||0-0||3||0||1||0|
|D. Miles, SF||Did Not Play|
|D. Dickau, PG||Did Not Play|
|S. Graham, G||Did Not Play|
|L. Aldridge, F||Did Not Play|
|S. Rodriguez, G||Did Not Play|
|Complete Box Score|
|R. Lewis, SF||42||9-19||4-5||8||1||4||25|
|L. Ridnour, PG||42||10-17||1-1||5||13||4||22|
|R. Allen, SG||39||9-20||2-2||1||3||0||22|
|C. Wilcox, C||23||7-9||3-4||6||0||6||17|
|M. Sene, F||12||0-1||0-0||2||0||1||0|
|D. Wilkins, SF||23||5-11||4-4||4||0||2||14|
|E. Watson, PG||20||0-6||4-4||2||6||0||4|
|N. Collison, PF||18||1-4||0-0||2||0||4||2|
|J. Petro, C||16||0-2||0-0||4||0||4||0|
|M. Gelabale, F||5||0-1||0-0||0||0||0||0|
|D. Fortson, PF||Did Not Play|
|M. Wilks, PG||Did Not Play|
|K. Rush, SG||Did Not Play|
|R. Swift, C||Did Not Play|
|D. Farmer, G||Did Not Play|
|Complete Box Score|