for this game

Hornets hope to carry recent home success on the road

Mar 25, 2008 - 1:38 PM New Orleans (47-21) at Indiana (29-41) 7:00 pm EDT

INDIANAPOLIS (Ticker) - The New Orleans Hornets have proven themselves as a team that can handle the NBA's best at home. But over the remainder of the regular season, they must show that they can take care of business on the road as well.

The Hornets begin a season-ending stretch of 10 of 14 games on the road on Tuesday when they travel to Conseco Fieldhouse to take on the Indiana Pacers.

Only three games separate the top six teams in the Western Conference, a place where New Orleans and three of the teams they have defeated recently at home over the last 12 days - San Antonio (47-23), the Los Angeles Lakers (49-22) and Houston (48-23) - reside.

The Hornets trail only the Lakers after Los Angeles defeated Golden State in overtime Monday.

Perhaps as big as any win this season came in the conclusion of the Hornets' perfect three-game homestand on Saturday in their 113-106 win over the Boston Celtics. David West fueled the victory with 37 points.

To remain near the top of the West, New Orleans would like to carry their recent home success to the road, where it is 20-11 this season and will be playing the majority of its games until the end of the regular season.

Their trek starts against the Pacers, who have won a season-high four straight contests. Indiana's offense has been key to its resurgence - especially at home - as it has averaged 116 points in its five home games in March, all Pacer wins.

Their latest success, however, came on the road in Saturday's 108-101 win over the Chicago Bulls. Mike Dunleavy scored 25 points and Troy Murphy added 24 for Indiana, which finds itself 1 1/2 games behind Atlanta (30-39) for the eighth and final spot in the Eastern Conference playoff chase.