Daily Confidential

The Indiana Pacers are playing their best basketball this season. They'll try to continue that strong play and end a road skid when they travel to face the Memphis Grizzlies on Saturday.

The Pacers have won five of their last six games, all at home, since Jan. 22. Indiana's only loss during that stretch came in its only road game, a 95-87 defeat at Detroit on Sunday.

"We're competing and playing hard," Pacers point guard Jamaal Tinsley said. "We're helping each other out on the defensive end. We're rebounding well. We're playing for each other."

After Saturday's game, the Pacers return to Indianapolis to begin a season-high six-game homestand, including five straight contests against Western Conference foes. The Pacers have lost three straight on the road to fall to 10-14, and are 6-8 versus the West in 2006-07.

Indiana (25-21) will try to use its good play at home as a boost on the road. The Pacers beat the Lakers 95-84 on Friday, despite shooting just 43.0 percent from the field. Indiana held Los Angeles to 38.1 percent shooting and got 22 points and nine rebounds from Jermaine O'Neal, who was named to his sixth All-Star team on Thursday, breaking the franchise record he shared with Reggie Miller.

O'Neal praised his teammates in the win.

"I think Danny Granger and the rest of the team did a great job of playing team defense on Kobe (Bryant) and making other guys take some tough shots," O'Neal said. "Any time we play good team defense, we have an opportunity to win the game."

The Pacers have the fifth-best record in the Eastern Conference, but are only fourth in the Central Division, trailing Detroit, Cleveland and Chicago.

Indiana is 17-4 all-time against Memphis, though the Grizzlies won the last meeting 105-75 at home on March 21, a game in which the Pacers were missing O'Neal and Tinsley. All four of the Grizzlies' wins have come in Memphis, where they've won four of the last five between the teams.

Memphis (12-35) finally held an opponent under 100 points for the first time under interim coach Tony Barone, but still couldn't pull out a win, losing 95-94 to Dallas on Wednesday, in the third of a five-game homestand.

The Grizzlies had allowed at least 100 points in a franchise-record 22 straight games.

Mike Miller had 32 points for Memphis, including 20 in the fourth quarter, but the team dropped to 1-2 on the homestand and has lost five of its last seven overall.

"When you get open shots, you try to make them," said Miller, who's averaging 29.0 points and made 17 of 34 3-pointers in his last three games. "It doesn't matter if it's in the first quarter or the fourth quarter, you've got to be able to step up and make shots for your team."

The Grizzlies, who have the NBA's worst record, have nine of their 12 victories at FedEx Forum.

The teams play close their season series on Feb. 14 in the final game for both before the All-Star break.

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