Positive-leaning Indiana Pacers team notes:

A leading candidate for the NBA’s Most Improved Player Award, Danny Granger is on course to become the first player in NBA history to improve his scoring average by at least five points a game in three consecutive seasons. Granger is fifth in the NBA this season with an average of 25.5 ppg, which is nearly six points per game more than his average (19.7) of a season ago.

Including 4-5 on his way to a team-high 18 points vs. Cleveland, Feb. 10, Troy Murphy has shot 24-45 (.533) from 3-pt range in his last nine games. Murphy has made a career-best 99 3-pt field goals this season.

With an average of 11.5 rpg, Murphy is fifth in the NBA, and he is the only player ranked in the top 20 in both rebounds and 3-pt field goal accuracy. Murphy’s 43.0 percent from long range is 13th best in the NBA.

With their win over Cleveland on Tuesday, Feb. 10, the Pacers became the first team in the NBA this season to post a win against each of the four teams (Boston, Cleveland, the Lakers and Orlando) with the best winning percentages in the NBA.

The only Indiana player with more steals than turnovers, Travis Diener has accumulated 14 steals and committed just 10 turnovers in his 33 appearances this season. Diener leads the team in assists-to-turnover ratio with 77 assists and 10 miscues (7.70:1).

This weekend Danny Granger will not only make his first appearance in the NBA All-Star game on Sunday, but he will also participate in the 2009 Foot Locker 3-pt Shootout during All-Star Saturday in Phoenix, Feb. 14. Granger joins the NBA’s all-time 3-pt field goals king, Reggie Miller, as the only Pacers’ players to participate in the 3-pt Shootout. Miller took part in the long distance shooting competition five times, finishing second in 1990 and 1995.