Friday , Mar , 10 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

Hornets back in OK, host Pacers

(Sports Network) – The slumping Hornets return to the Ford Center in Oklahoma
City tonight when they play the third of a four-game homestand against

On Wednesday, the Hornets returned to New Orleans Arena to play the first
major sporting event since Hurricane Katrina destroyed the city.

However, the special moment didn’t last long as the Los Angeles Lakers handed
the Hornets a 113-107 defeat. Kobe Bryant scorched the Hornets for 40 points.

David West had 25 points and Chris Paul had 22 along with 10 assists for the
Hornets, who have dropped two straight and three of their last four games.
They are 0-2 on the current home stand and have lost three in a row at home.

New Orleans/Oklahoma City is seventh in the Western Conference playoff race
and 19-11 as the host this season.

Meanwhile, after squelching a seemingly comfortable 17-point lead in the third
quarter of Wednesday’s 103-99 loss to Houston, the Pacers find themselves
staring down a two-game losing streak and five losses in eight tries.

Indiana led 86-69 with 3:48 remaining in the third quarter, then the Rockets
took flight and shocked the fifth-seeded Pacers at the Toyota Center.
Washington, Philadelphia and Milwaukee are creeping from behind in the
Eastern Conference playoff hunt.

Rick Carlisle’s club scored only 11 points and made 4-of-25 shots from the
field in the final 12 minutes of play.

The Pacers are 0-1 on their current three-game road trip and will play at New
Orleans/Oklahoma City before closing out the swing in Toronto. Indiana has
lost eight of its last 11 road games and is 12-18 away from Conseco Fieldhouse
this season.

Indiana won the first meeting of the season with the Hornets by a 97-75 score
on February 21. It has won two of the last three meetings, but the Pacers have
dropped two in a row and eight of 11 at the Hornets.