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Granger leads Pacers past Bulls

Feb 28, 2010 - 4:04 AM INDIANAPOLIS(AP) -- Danny Granger and the Indiana Pacers haven't given up on the season.

Granger had 30 points and eight rebounds to help the struggling Pacers beat the Chicago Bulls 100-90 on Saturday night.

The Pacers snapped a three-game losing streak and won for just the second time in nine games to improve to 20-39.

"It feels real good to get a win," said Granger, who added four steals and a block. "We've been struggling a little bit lately and you just have to stay positive. The season is closing out and we have to keep pushing ahead.

"You just play with your pride. Regardless of what it's going to mean, you want to go out and give your best effort and try to win every game."

Dahntay Jones and Troy Murphy each had 17 points, and Roy Hibbert added 12 for the Pacers, who avoided being swept by the Bulls this season in the teams' four games.

"We just want to play for each other," Hibbert said. "I think we did a great job of that tonight. Maybe we can make a run. You never know what happens in this league."

Derrick Rose had 27 points, and Luol Deng added 13 points and 18 rebounds for the Bulls (31-28), who trailed most of the game and fell behind by 16 in the fourth quarter.

"We could not score on a consistent basis," Chicago coach Vinny Del Negro said. "There wasn't enough efficiency offensively."

Indiana pushed a 12-point lead in the third quarter to 94-78 on Hibbert's two free throws with less than 5 minutes left in the game. James Johnson's 3-pointer got the Bulls to 96-88 with 2 minutes left, but four straight free throws by Granger and Murphy sealed the victory.

"We didn't want to get swept by them," Granger said. "It's hard to beat a team four times in a row."

The first half featured seven ties and two lead changes and neither team led by more than nine points. The Pacers took their biggest advantage of the half, 50-41, on Brandon Rush's jumper late in the second quarter.

Indiana stretched its lead to 12 on numerous occasions in the third quarter, including Murphy's jumper to end the period.

"This is one of those bumps in the road," said Chicago's Taj Gibson, who finished with 14 points, nine rebounds and three blocks. "We just have to get back on track."

Pacers coach Jim O'Brien has been impressed with his team's ability to stay focused, despite its disappointing record.

"Good win for our team," he said. "We did a lot of positive things. We built a lead and kept a lead."

Indiana capitalized on 21 Chicago turnovers.

"We had way too many turnovers," Del Negro said. "We had a lot of times where we could have converted but didn't."

NOTES: Pacers C Jeff Foster (back) and F Tyler Hansbrough (ear infection) did not play. ... Deng was given a technical foul for arguing a call in the fourth quarter.

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