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Roy sparks Blazers in return

| April 25, 2010 9:00 PM

Brandon Roy made a surprising return from knee surgery and scored 10 points, including a key 3-pointer in the fourth quarter, and the Portland Trail Blazers evened their playoff series with the visiting Phoenix Suns at two games apiece with a 96-87 victory on Saturday.

LaMarcus Aldridge had 31 points and 11 rebounds for the Blazers, who unexpectedly activated Roy shortly before the game, eight days after he had arthroscopic surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee.

Roy didn't start and played a relatively quiet 26 minutes, but hit a 3-pointer with 4:55 left that gave Portland a 85-79 lead and swung the momentum of a close game.

Amare Stoudemire led the Suns with 26 points. The series returns to Phoenix on Monday night.

Roy wasn't expected to play in any of it, with a recovery time of a week to two weeks. Yet he said he was feeling good not long after the surgery and wanted to try playing.

Besides his surprise appearance, the Blazers shook up their lineup, starting second-year guard Jerryd Bayless rather than Rudy Fernandez.

Roy didn’t start and played a relatively quiet 26 minutes, but hit a 3-pointer with 4:55 left that gave Portland a 85-79 lead and swung the momentum of a close game.

Amare Stoudemire led the Suns with 26 points. The series returns to Phoenix on Monday night.

“We didn’t bring it, we just didn’t bring it,” Stoudemire said. “We realized how important the game was. We didn’t bring the effort, we didn’t bring the energy, we didn’t rebound, we didn’t attack. We had a chance to go up 3-1, which would have been great. Now we’ve got to go back to a must-win situation.”

Roy wasn’t expected to play in any of it, with a recovery time of a week to two weeks. Yet he said he was feeling good not long after the surgery and wanted to try playing.

Bucks 107, Hawks 89: John Salmons scored 22 points on 9-of-11 shooting and host Milwaukee beat Atlanta.

The Bucks shot 68 percent in the first quarter and 51 percent for the game following a three-day layoff and were never seriously threatened after building a 19-point, first-half lead.

Milwaukee, which trails the series 2-1, hosts Game 4 on Monday.

Magic 90, Bobcats 86: Jameer Nelson scored 32 points and Orlando overcame Dwight Howard’s continuing foul trouble and a loud, towel-waving crowd in Charlotte’s return to the playoff stage to beat the Bobcats, taking a commanding 3-0 lead in their first-round series.

Howard played only 26 minutes and fouled out with 3:32 left. But Nelson had a key bucket down the stretch and backup center Marcin Gortat hit two free throws with 12 seconds left to put it away.

Game 4 is on Monday at Charlotte.

Thunder 110, Lakers 89: Kevin Durant scored 22 points, Russell Westbrook added 18 points and eight assists, and host Oklahoma City evened its first-round series against Los Angeles with a victory in Game 4.

Oklahoma City never trailed after the opening 5 minutes and led by double digits for the final three quarters in a thorough dismantling of the defending NBA champions.

Game 5 is Tuesday at Los Angeles.

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