NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Danny Granger scored 20 points and the Indiana Pacers beat the New Orleans Hornets 102-84 on Saturday night for their first six-game winning streak in seven years.
David West had 14 points and 13 rebounds in his first game back in New Orleans after playing the first eight years of his career with the Hornets. Darren Collison added 13 points, including a circus shot at the halftime buzzer.
Indiana, playing only its second game in the last 10 days, blew it open with a 21-4 run to take a 54-37 lead at the half. The Pacers led by as many as 30 in the fourth quarter.
Jarrett Jack scored 18 and Marco Belinelli added 15 for New Orleans, which played its third game in four days and dressed only nine players for the second consecutive night. The Hornets avoided their most lopsided loss of the season by outscoring the Pacers 19-7 to close the game.
West put the Pacers ahead to stay with a basket midway through the second quarter. Dahntay Jones drove for a layup, Collison scored in transition, Roy Hibbert made two free throws and Paul George sank a 3-pointer to give Indiana a 44-35 lead, the largest of the game to that point.
West passed to a wide-open Granger for another 3, making the score 47-37. The pivotal stretch came in the last 34.5 seconds, when Indiana tacked on seven more points.
Granger hit a mid-range shot. Collison stole the inbounds pass and sank a shot from just inside the 3-point line. Granger hit the first of two free throws after being fouled on a drive with 2.4 seconds left. He missed the second one, but Collison picked it up off the floor and drained a leaping one-handed shot from 19 feet at the buzzer.
The Hornets had twice as many turnovers (four) as baskets in the last 6:50.
Hibbert, who scored a career-high 30 points in the Pacers' 117-108 win over the Hornets on Feb. 22, missed all four of his shots from the floor and finished with four points.
It didn't matter.
New Orleans made only one modest run, scoring seven in a row to pull within 70-53 and prompting Indiana coach Frank Vogel to call a timeout with 2:54 left in the third quarter.
Granger hit an off-balance leaner on the next possession, sparking a 9-1 Pacers spurt to end the quarter as they went ahead 79-54.
The short-handed Hornets played without Trevor Ariza (illness), Carl Landry (MCL sprain), Emeka Okafor (sore left knee), Jason Smith (concussion) and Eric Gordon (right knee injury).
The energy difference was evident. Late in the third quarter, Collison had a breakout layup off a routine rebound when no Hornets player got back. Early in the fourth, no one blocked out as West missed a free throw. The Pacers' Tyler Hansbrough grabbed it and converted a three-point play.
Notes: West received a smattering of boos from the crowd after his first two baskets but a loud ovation after a tribute played on the video screens above the court at the end of the first quarter. He acknowledged the applause by raising his hand over his head. . Solomon Jones, whom the Hornets recently signed to a second 10-day contract, had 10 points in the first half and finished with a season-high 12 after scoring 11 on Friday night against Dallas.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)