The Portland Trail Blazers and Denver Nuggets played out a four-overtime classic at the Moda Center, with Rodney Hood taking centre stage with some late-game heroics.
4 TAKEAWAYS: CJ scores 41, Hood hits clutch three as Blazers edge Nuggets in 4OT
The 26-year-old didn't see any minutes through the first three overtime periods before Terry Stotts called his number with 1:59 remaining, seizing the opportunity as he produced a seven-point burst to close the game and seal the win.
Hood used his size to bury two pull up jumpers over the smaller Jamal Murray, before draining the go-ahead three-pointer with 17.8 seconds remaining.
Rodney Hood came up CLUTCH in 4OT. 🔥#RipCity | #NBAPlayoffs pic.twitter.com/NB1QcVNXzE- NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) May 4, 2019
"We were kind of struggling to get some baskets in the fourth overtime," Hood said post-game. "I had fresh legs, and me in the post, I like that matchup really against anybody. I got my first bucket, got it to go down and Coach kept going to me, and then CJ hit me with a hell of a pass after the rebound and trusting me. I think that's the big thing that we talk about is just trusting each other."
With Stotts opting to play his starters in the first three OT periods, Hood came back into the game with fresh legs and it showed as he took control of the offence, later telling reporters of his confidence down the stretch.
MORE: Every 3OT and 4OT game in NBA postseason history
"I actually felt pretty good," Hood said. "I was telling Gary Trent and Ant [Anfernee Simmons] that if I got a chance I was going to end it.
"I felt like the game needed a fresh energy and I can make a difference, so I was kind of excited I went back in for that fourth overtime."
#RipCity @rodneyhood reflects on his big shot in the final moments of Game 3! #NBAPlayoffs pic.twitter.com/DihOcujTfr- NBA (@NBA) May 4, 2019
His game-winning post-season performance was one to savour after an up-and-down couple of seasons, which saw him traded by the Utah Jazz to the Clevleand Cavaliers. In Cleveland he struggled for consistency, eventually falling out of the rotation in the playoffs and was on the move again in February, landing with the Trail Blazers.
Hood found the going tough initially as he carved out his role on the team and was largely ineffective in the first round against the Oklahoma City Thunder. In three games against the Nuggets, however, he's flipped the script, averaging 17 points off the bench, capping off Game 3 with a career highlight.
"It's up there, it's up there man, it's one of the biggest moments." Hood said.
"Obviously being in the playoffs. I've hit game-winners and big shots before, but this one I think means a lot especially given the circumstances - getting thrown back in the game after being out for a while, getting Denver's best effort, so it ranks up there."