The rookie and second-year player gave the Portland Trail Blazers a glimpse Friday night of what they hope to be in the future.
The Trail Blazers are also short-handed, playing the third game without leading scorer and rebounder Zach Randolph, who is out with a hand injury that required surgery.
"I think these guys, with a couple of key players missing, have stepped up and raised their level of play," Portland coach Nate McMillan said.
Houston led 74-73 with 2:32 remaining before Jack scored five quick points to put the Trail Blazers back on top. His 3-pointer came after Roy, who leads all rookies in scoring, cut through the defense and dished off to him in the corner.
"I think me and Brandon are starting to feed off of each other a little bit," Jack said. "We're getting familiar with each other in the backcourt."
So familiar that Jack told Roy to look for him to be open for that shot during a timeout. And he also warned the Houston fans of his intentions.
"I was joking with them when I ran over there," Jack said. "I was like, 'Yo I'm about to hit a 3."'
Shane Battier hit a 3-pointer to tie the game at 70 and gave the Rockets their first lead since it was 4-2 on a shot after a free throw by Jack. The teams exchanged baskets before Jack's five points.
The win breaks a six-game losing streak for the Trail Blazers in Houston and is the Rockets' third straight loss.
"I wanted to be more aggressive and more assertive to make plays," Roy said. "These last couple of games I've been able to make some shots and my confidence is going up because I know I'm going to get more shots."
A free throw by Jack stretched Portland's lead to 81-76 with less than a minute to go before a long 2-pointer by Kirk Snyder cut Houston's deficit to 3. Travis Outlaw made a free throw and Battier missed a 3-point attempt before Freddy Jones added a free throw to ensure the win.
Jack added a pair of free throws with .2 seconds remaining.
"We made things interesting there in the fourth quarter," Battier said. "But they hit some big shots. That kid Roy is a really good player. Give him a lot of credit."
Rockets coach Jeff Van Gundy also praised the rookie, calling him "very, very good."
Portland led by nine before the Rockets scored six straight points, capped by a reverse layup by Chuck Hayes to make it 68-65 with about six minutes remaining. Roy, who had stopped earlier rallies by the Rockets, sat in front of the scorers table helplessly waiting to go in as Hayes hit the layup.
Luther Head, who led Houston with 19 points, cut Portland's lead to one before Roy came through again. He crashed into Hayes as he drove into the lane and both players tumbled to the court. Hayes was called for the foul and Roy got up and rubbed his right knee before hitting both shots.
Roy, who topped 20 points for the third straight game, made two quick baskets midway through the third quarter that pushed Portland's lead back to double figures. The Rockets scored five quick points, including a 3 by Head to cut the lead to 56-50. Roy responded again, this time calmly sinking a 3 from the top of the key under heavy pressure just before the shot clock expired.
"We didn't play good enough to win," Van Gundy said. "We give up layups down the stretch, 3s in the corner which are 3s we really don't want to give up. We've missed big shots."
The Trail Blazers had a 17-4 lead with about four minutes remaining in the first quarter after the Rockets made just two of their first 15 shots. Houston went on an 8-3 run before halftime to cut Portland's lead to 40-33 at the break.
|Jarrett Jack scores 23 points as the Blazers find life in the lane much easier without Yao Ming. (AP)|
|Portland (31-44) «||23||17||21||24||85|
|POR:B. Roy 24 Pts
POR:J. Magloire 14 Reb
POR:J. Jack 3 Ast
|HOU:L. Head 19 Pts
HOU:C. Hayes 12 Reb
HOU:R. Alston 6 Ast
|Players of the Game|
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|B. Roy, SG||37||10-20||2-2||2||3||2||24|
|J. Magloire, C||36||5-12||2-5||14||0||2||12|
|J. Jack, PG||35||7-9||6-8||3||3||2||23|
|I. Udoka, SF||30||1-5||0-0||1||2||2||3|
|R. LaFrentz, PF||26||2-3||1-2||7||1||4||5|
|T. Outlaw, PF||30||3-8||3-4||2||1||2||9|
|F. Jones, SG||17||1-5||1-2||2||1||1||3|
|S. Rodriguez, PG||16||2-5||0-0||1||2||0||5|
|M. Webster, SG||10||0-1||1-1||1||0||1||1|
|L. Schenscher, C||4||0-2||0-0||1||0||1||0|
|D. Miles, SF||Did Not Play|
|J. Przybilla, C||Did Not Play|
|Z. Randolph, PF||Did Not Play|
|D. Dickau, PG||Did Not Play|
|L. Aldridge, C||Did Not Play|
|Complete Box Score|
|R. Alston, PG||42||3-13||2-2||3||6||2||8|
|L. Head, SG||39||7-16||2-2||1||3||4||19|
|S. Battier, SF||38||5-10||1-2||5||0||1||12|
|J. Howard, PF||28||4-13||6-8||11||0||3||14|
|D. Mutombo, C||15||2-3||0-0||5||0||3||4|
|C. Hayes, PF||36||3-6||1-2||12||0||5||7|
|B. Wells, SG||23||1-7||2-2||5||2||2||4|
|K. Snyder, SF||20||4-8||2-3||2||1||2||10|
|T. McGrady, SG||Did Not Play|
|B. Sura, PG||Did Not Play|
|J. Tsakalidis, C||Did Not Play|
|Y. Ming, C||Did Not Play|
|V. Spanoulis, PG||Did Not Play|
|J. Lucas, PG||Did Not Play|
|S. Novak, PF||Did Not Play|
|Complete Box Score|