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 Roy helps Blazers win 6th in row, 98-92 over Wiz

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PostSubject: Roy helps Blazers win 6th in row, 98-92 over Wiz   Thu Dec 04, 2008 5:45 pm

WASHINGTON(AP) Pssst, all you NBA players who
try to guard Brandon Roy. Listening? Here's a little tip: The guy is
right-handed, but he is quite talented with his left.Roy took
his time to get going Wednesday night, and then he took over, scoring
12 of his 22 points in the final 8 minutes to help the Portland Trail
Blazers extend their winning streak to six games by coming back to beat
the Washington Wizards 98-92.One of his most important baskets
came on a drive to his left past defender DeShawn Stevenson to set up a
lefty layup, giving Portland a four-point lead with 35 seconds to go."My
whole life, guys send me left,'' Roy said. "I come to the bench, and my
teammates are joking, 'Oh, you went left.' I'm like, 'Which way did he
give me? He gave me left.' You give me right, I'll take right. But
right now they're giving me left, and I do whatever I can to make plays
out there.''Before the game, Wizards interim coach Ed Tapscott
spoke about being wary of Roy's ability to go to his left. And yet his
team couldn't stop it."Everything you learn along the way when
you play basketball is: Force a guy to his weak hand. The problem is,
his weak hand is his strong hand,'' Tapscott said afterward. "I
wouldn't be surprised if he writes left-handed.''Roy swears not.But
as a kid, he asked his father how to learn to use his left hand on a
basketball court. His dad's answer was simple: Work on it."Honestly,
that's what he said, and I worked on it every day since,'' Roy said.
"Maybe I overdid it, because I'm better with my left than my right.''He's been pretty good every which way lately.Roy
was honored Monday as Western Conference Player of the Week for his
work from Nov. 24-30, when he averaged 20 points, 5.3 rebounds and six
assists while shooting 51 percent on field-goal attempts.He
pretty much kept up that pace across the board Wednesday, shooting
9-for-19 and adding eight rebounds and four assists to his stats line."Every
year he's improving. He's understanding what it takes to be one of
those elite guys,'' said All-Star forward Antawn Jamison, who led the
Wizards with 22 points."It wasn't going well for him in the
first half. He didn't force it - continued to plug away. And the last
four or five minutes of the game, who had the ball in their hands? Who
made plays? Who won the game? It was him.''The well-balanced
Blazers did put five players in double-figures: Roy, Greg Oden,
LaMarcus Aldridge, Rudy Fernandez and Steve Blake. Oden, the rookie
center who missed all of last season, finished with 13 points and 10
rebounds for his sixth double-double in the past 12 games.Washington
began the fourth quarter with a 9-0 spurt capped by Nick Young's
3-pointer to go ahead 81-79. Portland shot 0-for-6 in that stretch, not
scoring a point in that quarter until nearly 4 1/2 minutes had elapsed.And
that is when Roy really began to assert himself, scoring seven points
in a 9-2 run by the Blazers as they took an 86-83 lead."I did
say, 'All right, it's time to be aggressive. If they're going to win
this game, they're going to win with me attacking them,''' Roy said. "I
wanted to push it hard, the tempo. We both played last night, so it was
going to be who was the more mentally tough team.''Score one in
that category for Portland, which improved to 7-0 against Eastern
Conference teams and 14-6 overall, best in the Northwest Division.The
Wizards, meanwhile, dropped to an Eastern Conference-worst 3-13.
Washington was coming off a 20-point victory at the New Jersey Nets on
Tuesday night, but still is seeking its first winning streak of the
season."Close only counts in horse shoes and hand grenades, you know?'' Tapscott said. "So we've got to close the deal.''Notes:
The Wizards are 2-3 under Tapscott, who took over when Eddie Jordan was
fired after a 1-10 start. ... Portland is off to its best start since
the 1999-00 season.

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