INDIANAPOLIS -- Jamaal Tinsley quietly has been proving his doubters wrong this season.
Tinsley, who was the subject of trade rumors in the offseason and has been criticized for often being injured in recent years, has been the Pacers' most durable player this season. He has started every game and has played some of the best basketball of his six-year career.
"Jamaal can play like that -- you just have to let him play," Indiana guard Stephen Jackson said. "He's our floor general. The better he plays, the better we play.
"We need him playing like that because he's definitely the head of our monster."
Tinsley scored all but two of his points in the second half and helped the Pacers win despite forward Jermaine O'Neal sitting out with a hamstring injury. O'Neal leads the Pacers with 17.8 points and 9.9 rebounds per game and ranks second in the NBA at 3.1 blocked shots, but without him, the Pacers rallied to win their second straight home game and improve to 11-10.
"It's been like that the last three years -- this team has had to play without somebody," Jackson said. "This team is used to it now. I think everybody embraces their chance to shine and go out and play."
Jackson scored 25 points and Al Harrington had 16 for the Pacers.
Portland's Zach Randolph had 29 points and four rebounds before fouling out with 15 seconds left. He flipped off the crowd when he fouled out.
"I was frustrated there at the end of the game. That shouldn't happen, and I apologize for that and it won't happen again," he said.
O'Neal, who saw the gesture, said, "He's going to pay for that one -- financially."
Portland gave up 66 points in the second half to lose for the sixth time in seven games.
"We are not mentally or physically strong enough to compete for 48 minutes," Portland coach Nate McMillan said. "Defensively, we are not mentally coming out. We need to be more aggressive. I see youth and inexperience in this team."
The Pacers trailed 53-42 at halftime but outscored the Trail Blazers 35-14 in the third quarter to take a 77-67 lead into the fourth.
Tinsley scored 11 points in the third quarter.
"I came out more aggressive and tried to make more opportunities for myself and my teammates," he said. "I tried to penetrate and hit the open shots."
The Pacers didn't make a field goal for the first 5:21 of the second quarter, and their poor shooting allowed Portland to increase a 24-22 lead at the end of the first quarter to 36-22 in the middle of the second.
"I though we got off to a great start and then, as has been the case, we get a lead and start throwing the ball all over the place," Indiana coach Rick Carlisle said. "There were some mind-boggling things going on out there."
Portland controlled the rest of the first half and led by 11 points at the break. The Pacers shot 36 percent from the field and had 12 turnovers in the first 24 minutes.
The Pacers started the second half on a 7-2 run. A 3-pointer by Sarunas Jasikevicius cut Portland's lead to 55-49 and forced the Trail Blazers to call timeout. The Pacers took their first lead of the second half on a three-point play by Jackson with 5:06 left in the third quarter.
Portland felt it was a wasted opportunity.
"We didn't take care of the basketball and I feel like we gave the game away," Randolph said. "We couldn't get any defensive stops when we needed them. We were giving up a lot of free throws and offensive rebounds and things like that."
Pacers C David Harrison, who has missed 13 games with a sore left shoulder, was active for Friday's game. He finished with two points in five minutes. ... The Pacers are 6-2 at home and 5-8 on the road. ... Portland G Jarrett Jack scored 30 points in the overtime loss to Milwaukee on Wednesday, but the Pacers held him to six. ... McMillan was called for a technical foul for arguing a call with 1:47 left in the third quarter. ... Thirty-year-old Maceo Baston made his first career start in O'Neal's place and finished with nine points and two rebounds.