The Indiana Pacers have ripped off a season-high five straight wins and look to keep the momentum going tonight against the New Orleans Hornets in the Big Easy.
The Pacers are unbeaten since a five-game slide in early February and will play two straight and four of five games away from Indy. They kept the winning streak intact with Tuesday's 102-78 triumph versus Golden State, as Danny Granger pumped in 25 points and Tyler Hansbrough registered 15.
Roy Hibbert had 12 points, while Paul George and Darren Collison finished with 11 apiece for the Pacers, who haven't won six in a row since March 28-April 8, 2005 and got 10 points out of David West.
"A good start to the second half [of the season]," said Pacers head coach Frank Vogel. "We wanted to come out in the second half and set the tone with a strong effort. We're getting back to being a strong defensive team again. Guys are comfortable with their roles."
Indiana is second in the Central Division behind Chicago and owns an 11-8 mark as the visitor this season. It is off to the best overall start since a 24-10 ledger through the first 34 games of 2003-04.
The confidence level for the Hornets has to be through the roof after they dispatched the Dallas Mavericks, 97-92, last night in the second portion of a three-game homestand.
Chris Kaman had 20 points and 13 rebounds for New Orleans, which got 19 points from Xavier Henry and 15 out of Jarrett Jack. Jack hit a fadeaway jumper with 17.9 seconds left after Dallas pulled within two, 91-89, and the Hornets were able to hold on from there.
"We were up two or three (points) and coach (Monty Williams) called a timeout," explained Jack. "I went up to him and told him I am ready and just give it to me. I don't know if he heard it, but I had the confidence in myself and my team to knock down the shot. My teammates had confidence to put the ball in my hands."
New Orleans, which is last in the Northwest standings, is 1-1 on the homestand and owns a 4-15 record as the host this season. It will begin a four-game road trip Monday against the Blazers, Kings, Nuggets and Timberwolves. Hornets forward Trevor Ariza did not play Friday due to flu-like symptoms and is questionable tonight.
The Hornets dropped a 117-108 overtime decision at Indiana on Feb. 21, but have won six of the previous eight matchups in this series. The Pacers are winless in three straight trips to the Big Easy.