The first match-up of the season between the Indiana Pacers and the New Orleans Hornets on February 21st went into overtime, with the Pacers pulling out the 117-108 victory. The second battle between these teams, in New Orleans on Saturday night, needed no overtime.
The Hornets held tight early, trailing 23-25 after the first quarter. The Pacers went on an 21-4 run late in the second quarter, and led 54-37 at halftime. New Orleans was playing the second game of a back-to-back home stand, having defeated the NBA Champion Dallas Mavericks the night before. Indiana was playing their first of two away games, and had not played a game since last Tuesday. The Hornets are only 9-28 on the season, but had won 5 of their last 9 games going into Saturday night.
Indiana added to their lead in the third quarter, and held New Orleans to only 17 points in that period. Indiana broke the game open, and won the contest 102-84. The Pacers have scored over 100 points for five straight games, and have only lost once this year when scoring in triple digits. The win was Indiana’s sixth straight, which continues their longest streak of the season. The Pacers have not won that many games in a row since March of 2005.
Danny Granger, who was raised in New Orleans, had a game-high 20 points. Granger hit four shots from behind the three-point line, and has scored 20 or more points fifteen times this season. Former Hornets, David West and Darren Collison, scored 27 points between them. West added a game-leading 13 rebounds. Lou Amundson contributed a double-double off the bench, with 11 points and 10 rebounds.
Indiana is currently tied with the Chicago Bulls for the best winning streak in the NBA. The Bulls, who’s 31-8 record is the best in the league, also have a six-game win streak. The Bulls and the Pacers will play in Chicago on Monday night. The Pacers beat the Bulls 95-90 on January 25th, giving Chicago their first home loss of the season.