Pacers-Celtics Photo Gallery
DANNY GRANGER
Shot 8-of-17 from the field, 4-of-7 from the 3-point line and 9-of-9 from the free-throw line in racking up a game-high 29 points, adding four rebounds, three steals and a blocked shot.
Name Min. +/- Name Min. +/-
Marquis Daniels 21:48 +2 David Harrison 16:22 0
Travis Diener 38:43 +6 Troy Murphy 31:17 +7
Ike Diogu DNP --- Jermaine O'Neal DNP ---
Mike Dunleavy 14:23 -1 Andre Owens DNP ---
Jeff Foster 29:05 +5 Kareem Rush 37:19 +9
Stephen Graham DNP --- Jamaal Tinsley DNP ---
Danny Granger 42:17 +13 Shawne Williams 8:46 -1
Season plus-minus | Box score
  • Points in the paint: Pacers 30, Trail Blazers 30
  • Fast-break points: Pacers 10, Trail Blazers 6
  • Second-chance points: Pacers 17, Trail Blazers 15
  • Points off turnovers: Pacers 9, Trail Blazers 7
  • Starters scoring: Pacers 78, Trail Blazers 64
  • Bench scoring: Trail Blazers 29, Pacers 23
  • Danny Granger made all nine of his free throw attempts to extend his streak from the line to 51.
    The final home game before the All-Star break comes Tuesday against Paul Pierce, Ray Allen and the Boston Celtics in Conseco Fieldhouse (7 p.m., FSN-Indiana, WFNI-AM 1070).

    Indiana 101, Portland 93
    Granger, defense lead to winning streak

    By Conrad Brunner | Feb. 9, 2008


    The confluence of circumstances was frightening.

    Leading by three points at halftime, the Pacers played the third period without three injured starters, shot 4-of-16 from the floor and missed all six of their 3-point attempts.

    Rather than collapsing under the weight of their offensive woes, the Pacers dug in and played their best defense in weeks – possibly months – and actually extended their lead to eight, which represented the final margin in a 101-93 victory over Portland Saturday before 14,130 in Conseco Fieldhouse. The Blazers shot 5-of-17 and committed nine turnovers in the third period.

    As a result, the Pacers (21-30) have their first winning streak, albeit a modest two games, since winning three straight from Dec. 15-19.

    "How about it?" said Coach Jim O'Brien. "It's hard for me to emote after a game because I'm generally pretty fatigued but winning's great. We love winning. I'm happy to see people who work so hard have a smile on their faces. It's nice to see them go out and earn a couple of victories. It's a great feeling. It even feels better the next morning."

    As the team's losing streak reached seven with home defeats at the hands of the Pistons, Rockets and Magic, O'Brien kept saying he believed the team was playing much better. The consecutive victories over the Knicks and Blazers may be the manifestation of that progress.

    "I thought we really grew as a team and we didn't have anything to show for it other than my words, which doesn't get anything," O'Brien said. "I'd like to think we're making some strides but certainly a game against Boston (Tuesday) and then one against Detroit (Wednesday) will give us a feeling whether we have made the strides."

    Danny Granger scored a game-high 29 and played what Portland Coach Nate McMillan described as "a perfect game" to lead the Pacers, who won despite shooting .369 overall and 10-of-33 (.303) from the 3-point line. They outscored Portland 29-18 from the free-throw line, just the second time this season they've enjoyed a double-digit free-throw advantage – both against the Blazers. Portland's 93 points represented the fewest allowed by the Pacers in 17 games, and the Pacers committed just seven turnovers after a season-low six Wednesday in New York.

    Travis Diener scored 15 with nine assists, Troy Murphy 13 with eight rebounds and Mike Dunleavy 11 before leaving in the second quarter with a bruised knee. Jeff Foster (10 points, 14 rebounds) and Kareem Rush (10 points, a career-high 11 rebounds) both had double-doubles.

    Noteworthy …


  • Dunleavy bruised his knee on a drive midway through the first quarter. He returned to play into the second period but could not finish the game.
  • The Pacers have won nine in a row from Portland.
  • Jamaal Tinsley missed his second game in a row due to soreness in his left knee. Tinsley has missed five of the last eight games and 11 of 21.
  • Portland was without leading scorer Brandon Roy, who left the team due to a death in the family.
  • The Blazers also missed former Indiana second-round pick James Jones, who missed his 15th game, primarily due to ongoing problems with his left knee.

    PACERS COACH JIM O'BRIEN
    Listen to Coach O'Brien's postgame press conference

    “I thought our defense for a 15-minute stretch late in the third quarter and early in the fourth was as good as I’ve seen in a month. We were very active with our hands and guys covered for one another. Our shot selection tonight was great. Our turnovers, seven for the game, were outstanding. I thought it was a very good win for our ball club. Winning is great. We love it. I liked seeing people who work so hard with a smile on their face. I like to think we’re making strides but games against Boston and Detroit will show if we’ve made strides."
    (On the reduced turnovers) "I think Travis really takes care of the basketball and our guys realize it’s a killer to have turnovers as high as we have had.”
    PACERS GUARD KAREEM RUSH
    “Two wins in a row was really big for us. We took better care of the basketball and defended much, much better. The next two games will really be a gauge for us. We’ve got two top teams and we’ve got to get at them from the get go. I shot the ball poorly tonight. I put them up but they didn’t fall. Shooters have games like that and I had one tonight. This was a big win and we must build on it.”
    PACERS GUARD TRAVIS DIENER
    “We put a lot of energy out there tonight and when you put energy like we did, you’re going to get wins. We got one tonight. We come out and play hard every night but tonight the results showed. We have two tough games (coming up). I have been happy with my play thus far and my time that I am getting. I just have to build on this and continue to play hard. "
    (On his injuries) "They are better and with All-Star break coming up they will have a chance to heal more.”
    BLAZERS COACH NATE McMILLAN
    “It comes down to the third quarter. I thought the effort was better tonight. (We had) A ton of turnovers. We were playing too fast. We needed to calm down and slow down. You have to take care of the ball. We are guys trying to make plays."
    (On missing some players) "We played the guys we were trying to find a rotation."
    (On Danny Granger) "I thought he had a perfect game."
    (General) "We didn’t take care of the ball. Take two of the best players off any game, you have to make some adjustments. I thought effort was better tonight. The execution wasn’t there.”
    BLAZERS CENTER LaMARCUS ALDRIDGE
    “We had a lot of open looks out there tonight. We just didn’t knock down any shots. That was a big negative for us and they were able to hit a lot of shots. Seemed like every time we’d miss they would come down and hit a three or get an offensive rebound. We’re still a young team, still learning and the coaches are going to go back tonight and look at the film and see where we need to improve.”
    BLAZERS GUARD JARRETT JACK
    “We dug ourselves a hole and they are a very capable team from the perimeter. It seemed like the ball was bouncing their way all night. A lot of loose balls and rebounds seemed to go right to their shooters."
    (On missing Brandon Roy and James Jones) "We still have some maturing to do. It’s tough when those guys are out. But everybody has to step up in that situation and contribute some how. I don’t think we got tired. I just think we gave up a lot of second and third chances at the basket. I don’t know how many offensive rebounds Foster had but I know he had a lot. Usually when team shoot a lot field goal percentage like they did and win the game, usually means you’re giving up a lot of offensive rebounds.”