Budinger helps Rockets top Blazers
LAS VEGAS -- The Houston Rockets (4-0) used a 10-2 run at the end of the game to claim an 87-82 come-from-behind win against the Portland Trail Blazers (0-2) Wednesday night from the COX Pavilion in the 2009 NBA Summer League presented by EA SPORTS.
The Rockets trailed 80-77 with 1:23 remaining in regulation before mounting their comeback. Chase Budinger began the rally with five consecutive points that started with a 3-pointer and quickly followed by two made free throws. The team's final five points were made from the charity stripe with Garrett Temple scoring one and Maarty Leunen knocking down the next four.
Budinger led his team with 17 points, as he shot 6-of-8 from the field. He was 2-of-2 from behind the arc and 3-of-3 from the line. James White and Leunen joined Budinger in double figures with 16 and 14 points, respectively.
Dante Cunningham was the top scorer in the game with 22 tallies. Pooh Jeter chipped in 15, as Bayless followed closely with 13. Jeff Pendergraph closed out the double-digit scorers with 11.
The game began quickly with Houston scoring the game's first six points en route to an 11-2 lead just 4:25 into the first quarter. The Trail Blazers responded with a 12-2 run of their own that began with 5:03 remaining on the clock and lasted for 2:24 and gave themselves a 14-13 edge. The teams battled back and forth with Portland eventually taking a 22-19 cushion into the break after 10 minutes of action.
Portland extended its lead in the second to six at the 35-29 mark with 4:16 burned off the clock with help from two Jerryd Bayless free throws. Houston flipped the game around with a 19-3 run over a 4:12 span that put them up by 10 at 48-38 before heading into intermission leading 50-40. The Rockets tallied 31 points and shot 56 percent in the second to the Trail Blazers' 18 points and 30 percent.
Houston staked itself to a 54-42 lead early in the third, but watched as Portland slowly pulled closer. The Trail Blazers outscored the Rockets by seven in the period to pull within three at 67-64.