The next time the Hornets take the court they will have an opportunity to clinch a playoff berth.
They improved to 44-33 and maintained a three-game lead over ninth-place Houston when they defeated Indiana, 108-96, Sunday night in the New Orleans Arena.
Regardless of what the Rockets do at home against Sacramento on Tuesday, the Hornets can clinch with a victory against them on Wednesday night in New Orleans.
"Everybody knows it," Hornets coach Monty Williams said, "but we have to continue to only talk about the first quarter of that game, and have good practices so we have carry-over into that game. We've put ourselves in this position, now we have to take advantage of it."
The Hornets also moved into a tie with Memphis for the seventh spot in the West as they continue a roller-coaster homestand. It began when they beat Portland and clinched the tie-breaker with the Blazers while moving into the sixth spot on Wednesday. Then they lost to the Grizzlies on Friday and slipped to eighth before bouncing back Sunday.
"You win one and everybody's (excited)," Williams said. "You lose one and it's like nobody can sleep. I can't get caught up in that. I have to stay (even keeled), which is hard. You've just got to win more games. I don't know what else to say -- win more games."
After the game against the Rockets, the Hornets conclude their five-game homestand against the Suns on Friday. They have three more regular-season games after that.
HORNETS 108, PACERS 96: The Hornets used an unusually high-scoring offense to put away the Pacers early. Trevor Ariza scored eight points and Chris Paul seven as the Hornets took a 29-21 lead after one quarter. Paul scored six and Ariza five as they built the lead to 57-44 at halftime. Each starter scored during a 13-2 run at the outset of the third quarter and New Orleans built the lead to as many as 25 points and never let it fall to fewer than 11 points. The Hornets were averaging 94.9 points going into the game.
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