Oden returns to lineup in Blazer victory

INDIANAPOLIS — Greg Oden returned to Portland's lineup Wednesday night after missing more than a month because of a bone chip in his left knee. He had four points and seven rebounds in his first pro game in his hometown, and the Trail Blazers beat the Indiana Pacers 95-85.

Oden made one of three field goals and both of his free throws in 12 minutes. He committed two fouls and had two turnovers.

Oden missed a chance to play in Indianapolis last season, when he sat out the entire 2007-08 campaign after having microfracture surgery on his right knee.

Brandon Roy led the Trail Blazers with 20 points, while Travis Outlaw added 15 points and Steve Blake scored 14 points and had eight assists.

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 coach Jim O'Brien had little to say about Granger's performance.

"We got crushed," he said. "It doesn't matter."

Indiana's Troy Murphy, the league's No. 3 rebounder, sat out with a left calf contusion.

Indiana lost its fourth straight game to clinch its fourth consecutive non-winning season. The Pacers have lost their past three games by a combined 47 points.

"We're quickly playing ourselves out of a playoff race is what it's coming down to," O'Brien said. "I would say the last three games it did not seem like we played with an urgency that the situation calls for. We as a group have to figure out why."

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 dunk made it a 16-point lead with 3 minutes left in the period. The Trail Blazers led 76-55 at the end of the quarter.

"Coach called timeout, and he got on us," Roy said. "He said this game's not over with, and the only way we're going to win is playing the way we did to build this lead."

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.

"We need to get our edge back, and we have to do it immediately," O'Brien said.

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