Blazers execute down the stretch, beat Houston
LAS VEGAS The Trail Blazers outscored Houston 21-6 in the fourth quarter en route to a 75-67 victory Sunday in the Las Vegas Summer League at Thomas & Mack Center.
Portland trailed 61-54 after three quarters and 63-55 early in the fourth period before climbing back to win and even its summer-league record at 1-1.
The Blazers will play Atlanta Tuesday, then begin play in a single-elimination tournament to crown a champion.
All five Portland starters scored in double figures, led by CJ McCollum with 19 points.
Will Barton contributed 15 points and seven rebounds, Thomas Robinson had 14 points and 12 rebounds, Joel Freeland collected 13 points and nine boards and Bobby Brown had 10 points, four rebounds and three steals.
"We needed to win for our morale, to know what it's like to win a game," said assistant David Vanterpool, who ran the team. "It's important for the guys. It's important we play the right way, and we did that down the stretch, especially defensively."
Portland led 52-43 early in the third quarter, before Houston went on an 18-0 run, knocking down four straight 3-pointers, three by reserve guard Andre Dawkins.
"He got them back in the game, and we got a little (stagnant) at both ends," Vanterpool said. "We let our lack of making open shots affect our defense."
But Portland, with McCollum and Barton providing most of the offense, turned it around down the stretch.
The Rockets "made a run but we didn't get rattled by it," Vanterpool said. "We took control of the game even before we took the lead."
NOTES: Reserve guard Allen Crabbe had four points in 22 minutes. The other Blazers who played -- Rodney Carney, Matthew Bryan-Amani and Craig Brackins -- went scoreless. Portland shot only .353 from the field after shooting .393 in its 71-69 loss to New York on Saturday. McCollum was 6 for 16 from the field, including 1 for 7 from 3-point range, against Houston. He is 10 for 27 overall and 2 for 11 on 3-point attempts in the two games. Redmond High and Oregon grad Maarty Leunen had five points and four rebounds in 10 minutes off the bench for the Rockets. Leunen started in the Rockets' loss to Miami on Saturday, scoring 11 points and making 3 for 4 from 3-point range in 20 minutes. Leunen, 28, who played for the Ducks from 2005-08, has spent the last five years playing professionally in Italy.