The Portland Trail Blazers aren't getting much bench production and their defense has to get better, but they're hard to beat when they're hitting from 3-point range.
The Houston Rockets found that out earlier this month.
Portland will try to avoid a fourth consecutive home loss Friday night when the Rockets open a three-game western swing.
It's still early, but the Trail Blazers (3-5) have to be concerned with a bench that's averaging a league-low 12.8 points. Their defense also has plenty of room for improvement, as their opponents are shooting 49.4 percent from the field.
Portland, though, has three of the NBA leaders in 3s made with Nicolas Batum (22), rookie Damian Lillard (20) and Wesley Matthews (18). Led by Lillard, who had team highs with five 3s and 22 points, the Trail Blazers hit a season-best 14 from long range in 27 attempts in Tuesday's 103-86 win at Sacramento.
Portland shot 32.2 percent (28 for 87) from beyond the arc while dropping its previous four contests. ...