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Granger helps Pacers to sixth straight win over Blazers

Nov 29, 2006 - 5:56 AM PORTLAND, Oregon (Ticker) -- Danny Granger kept the Indiana Pacers' streak against the Portland Trail Blazers alive.

Granger scored a season-high 21 points off the bench and Jermaine O'Neal added 20 as the Pacers won their sixth straight over the Blazers with a 105-97 victory.

Al Harrington and Sarunas Jasikevicius both had 17 points for Indiana, which has split its first two games during a six-game road trip.

Granger hit a five-foot banker with 7:03 left to give the Pacers an 87-83 edge. That basket triggered a decisive 11-2 burst over the next four minutes.

"The game was going back and fourth and I just knew that we really had to make a push and put the game out of reach," Granger said. "Luckily, we were able to go on that 11-2 run and that pretty much put the game out of reach."

Granger found Jasikevicius for the run-capping 3-pointer for a 96-85 advantage with 4:11 left.

"It was a pretty good game for my first time coming off the bench," Granger said. "I'm proud of it. I've played most of my early career coming off the bench so I'm used to it and had no problem with it."

"I think Granger and all the other guys did a great job tonight," O'Neal said. "In order for us to be a successful team we have to get guys coming off the bench and playing well. Obviously this is a new experience for (Granger) because he has been starting pretty much all year. I think he came in off the bench and made some huge shots for us and he got some big time rebounds for us."

The Pacers maintained at least a six-point cushion from thereon.

Zach Randolph scored 30 points and grabbed 11 rebounds and Jarrett Jack added 21 and six assists for Portland, which dropped its third contest in a row.

"You have to give a lot of credit to Portland's team," said O'Neal who overcame a sprained left ankle suffered in the third quarter. "They have a lot of young guys over there with a lot of energy and a coach with a never-say-die attitude and it showed out there tonight. Zach Randolph is a tough cover on the boards and offensively."

The Blazers erased an 11-point deficit in the third quarter to draw even at 75-75 entering the final period.

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