INDIANAPOLIS -- Just like that, the Indiana Pacers are talking about carrying momentum into the All-Star break.
The Pacers beat the Portland Trail Blazers 101-93 on Saturday night for their second straight victory. The small win streak is important because Indiana had lost seven in a row before beating New York on Wednesday. The Pacers are a half-game out of the eighth spot in the Eastern Conference race, despite being nine games below .500.
"It feels good," said Kareem Rush, who had his first career double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds. "We came out and played a great game, played great defense down the stretch. Guys played big."
Granger shot 4-of-7 from 3-point range and made all nine free-throw attempts.
"I thought he had a perfect game," Portland coach Nate McMillan said.
LaMarcus Aldridge led Portland with 21 points and 11 rebounds before fouling out in the final minute. Martell Webster had 18 points and eight rebounds, and Jarrett Jack added 15 points and 10 assists for the Trail Blazers, who have lost three of four.
Portland All-Star guard Brandon Roy missed his second straight game after a death in his family.
The Pacers played short-handed, too. Indiana forward Mike Dunleavy did not return after halftime because of a bruised right knee. He hurt the knee in the first quarter and limped off the court, returned, and played five minutes in the second quarter before exiting for good with 11 points.
The Pacers still pulled out the win, but now face Boston on Tuesday and Detroit on Wednesday. Boston, even without Kevin Garnett, has the top record in the league. Detroit has the second-best record in the East.
"We know they're going to be tough games," Rush said. "We're riding a little high right now. We know Boston's coming in here short-handed, but they're going to put up a great fight. Detroit's always tough."
The Pacers led 51-48 at halftime, then started the second half with a 13-6 run that included six points by Troy Murphy to take a 64-54 lead. Portland committed nine turnovers in the third quarter to help the Pacers lead 71-63 at the end of the period.
"It comes down to the third quarter," McMillan said. "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."
The Pacers led by 11 when Diener made a 3-pointer as the shot clock expired to make it 91-77 with just under six minutes to play.
"It was about time I made one," he said. "I just haven't been shooting well, but I'll keep shooting and eventually it'll fall."
Portland closed the margin to 99-93 on a floater by Travis Outlaw with just under a minute remaining, but the Trail Blazers didn't score again.
Fittingly, Rush got the final rebound for the Pacers. He shot 4-for-19 from the field, but his unexpected effort on the boards was a difference maker.
"Happy about that, but not happy about the way I shot," he said. "I missed a lot of wide-open shots I normally hit, but it's one of those games where you've got to contribute in other ways."
Indiana shot just 37 percent, but had 16 offensive rebounds and committed just seven turnovers.
"I think we gave up a lot of second and third chances at the basket," Jack said. "I don't know how many offensive rebounds Foster had, but I know he had a lot. Usually, when a team shoots a field-goal percentage like they did and wins the game, it means you're giving up a lot of offensive rebounds."
Diener said the Pacers won because everyone contributed on both offense and defense.
"It was a total team effort," he said. "That's how it's going to be if we win games We've just got to play together, play defense, then we'll win."
- Indiana C Jermaine O'Neal missed his 11th straight game with a bone bruise in his left knee.
- Indiana G Jamaal Tinsley sat out with a sore left knee. He has missed five of the team's past eight games.
- Portland C Greg Oden would have played his first professional game in his hometown, but he has missed the whole season after having knee surgery in September.
- Portland F Josh McRoberts, from nearby Carmel, Ind., did not play. He played a career-high 12 minutes against Detroit on Friday.
- The Pacers shot 30 percent in the first quarter.
- Granger has made 51 consecutive free throws.