- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 18, 2009

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Brandon Roy scored 20 points, Greg Oden won his first pro game in his hometown, and the Portland Trail Blazers beat the Indiana Pacers 95-85 on Wednesday night.

Oden, the top pick in the 2007 draft, returned to Portland’s lineup after missing more than a month because of a bone chip in his left knee. He finished with four points and seven rebounds in 12 minutes.

Travis Outlaw had 15 points, and Steve Blake added 14 points and eight assists for the Trail Blazers.

Indiana’s Danny Granger had 35 points and 10 rebounds in his first start since leaving a game Feb. 18 against Charlotte because of a partially torn tendon in his right foot. Indiana’s Troy Murphy sat out with a left calf contusion.

Indiana lost its fourth straight game and damaged its playoff hopes. The Pacers have lost their past two games by a combined 33 points.

The Pacers clinched their fourth consecutive non-winning regular season.

Indiana shot 41 percent in one of its worst offensive performances of the season. The Pacers had beaten many of the NBA’s best teams, such as Boston, Cleveland, Orlando, the Los Angeles Lakers and Denver, at home.

Portland led 50-39 at halftime, but the Pacers made a run to start the second half. The Pacers trailed 55-42 before going on a 10-4 run. A dunk by Granger with just over 7 minutes left in the third quarter cut Portland’s lead to 59-52 and forced the Trail Blazers to call a timeout.

Portland bounced back, and Oden’s two-handed dunk made it 70-54 with 3 minutes left in the period. The Trail Blazers pushed their lead to 76-55 at the end of the quarter.

The Pacers fell behind by 20 points in the second quarter, but cut it to 11 by halftime. Portland made six of its first seven 3-pointers, but couldn’t put the Pacers away because Granger scored 21 points before the break. Granger shot 7-for-14 in the first half, while his teammates shot 8-for-23.

Notes:@ Granger scored Indiana’s first six points. … Oden entered the game to cheers with 3:55 left in the first quarter. … Murphy leads the Pacers with 63 starts. … Purdue, which won the Big Ten tournament at Conseco Fieldhouse on Sunday, will play on the Trail Blazers’ home court Thursday. The Boilermakers will play Northern Iowa in the first round of the NCAA tournament at the Rose Garden.

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