The Phoenix Suns began a four-game road trip with a dominating effort on Tuesday night, and they've played well on the road during their solid start.
But the Indiana Pacers have already proved that Conseco Fieldhouse may be a tough place for visitors to win this season.
With the Pacers coming off an impressive victory in their home opener, their tough early schedule will continue on Wednesday when they look to snap a six-game losing streak against the Suns.
Phoenix (3-1) opened its season with a 103-98 win at San Antonio last Wednesday, and the Suns cruised to a much easier road win on Tuesday, overwhelming New Jersey 114-86 in the opener of their four-game trip against Eastern Conference opponents.
After going 24-6 against East teams last season - the best mark for any West club - they picked up where they left off against the Nets, shooting 63 percent as seven different Phoenix players scored in double figures.
"We're building but I think we have a chance to have great chemistry," point guard Steve Nash said. "But it's important for us to keep working at it."
Nash had 12 points and 11 assists, Raja Bell made all six of his 3-point attempts and Shaquille O'Neal added 18 points on 7-of-8 shooting.
Even with former head coach Mike D'Antoni now coaching the New York Knicks, the Suns seem to have remained just as efficient offensively, topping 100 points in three of their first four games under new coach Terry Porter.
"It's a tough call for any team when you have guys who can shoot the ball and fellas like Amare (Stoudemire) and Shaq in the post," Bell said. "You have to pick your poison. Some nights you pick, and what you pick works. Some nights everything is going and you can't do anything about it."
If Indiana's home opener is any indication, however, the Suns will be in for a much tougher task on Wednesday. The Pacers (1-1) led early and pulled away for a 95-79 win over Boston, earning a rare lopsided win against a Celtics team that lost only three regular-season games by double digits en route to an NBA title last season.
Danny Granger had 20 points and lost his front teeth diving for a loose ball, and newly acquired point guard T.J. Ford added 19 as the Pacers forced Boston into 24 turnovers as the Celtics shot 34.6 percent.
"I certainly think the fans saw a full-out effort for 48 minutes," Indiana coach Jim O'Brien said. "Nobody would say that the Indiana Pacers left anything on the court."
The Pacers lost 100-94 at Detroit in their opener, but they've played well considering they're adjusting to a revamped roster after trading away Jermaine O'Neal in the offseason - and playing without Mike Dunleavy, who remains out with a knee injury.
New center Rasho Nesterovic, meanwhile, injured his ankle against the Celtics and is listed as doubtful for Wednesday's game, meaning Jeff Foster will likely draw the start against Phoenix.
Having already played both East finalists from last season, the Pacers' schedule won't get any easier quite yet, as they travel to Cleveland Friday after facing Phoenix.
Indiana hasn't beaten the Suns since Jan. 15, 2005, when Reggie Miller was still in the Pacers' starting lineup for a 101-83 win. The Suns have averaged 115.2 points in their six victories against the Pacers since, although both of last season's meetings were close.
The Suns used 42 points from Stoudemire to earn a 121-117 win in Indiana on Dec. 4, and they needed overtime to notch a 129-122 home victory on Jan. 9.
Copyright 2008 by STATS LLC and Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited