LAS VEGAS — The most important line in the box score Sunday was not Chase Budinger’s game-high 21 points in Houston’s 84-67 loss to Portland in the NBA Summer League.
It was not Budinger’s awakening at the three-point line with a 4-of-7 performance, finally connecting after missing four attempts in Houston’s first two games at Cox Pavilion adjacent to Thomas & Mack.
It definitely was his 5-of-6 performance from the free-throw line. That alone shows he played more aggressively, heeding the request of Houston coach Rick Adelman. After Houston’s game against Dallas on Saturday, in which Budinger only posted four points on 3-of-7 shooting from the field, including 0-of-1 from three-point range, Adelman told Budinger that he wants more inspired play from the former Arizona wing player.
Budinger only attempted two free throws (making one) in the first two games here, which exemplifies some of his perceived passive play.