Byron Scott is among the leading candidates to replace Tim Floyd as coach of the Hornets.

"Obviously Byron Scott is one of the top on our list. He has the credentials," owner George Shinn said yesterday. "I don't want to say something that might discourage somebody else, but his record speaks for itself."

Shinn made the comments at New Orleans's Charity Hospital, where he spent part of his 63rd birthday giving presents to women who gave birth that day.

Shinn said he wasn't sure when Scott would visit New Orleans but ruled out this week. He didn't mention the names of other candidates but assured there would be more.

The Hornets fired Floyd on Friday, three days after Miami eliminated them in the first round of the playoffs.

Scott was fired earlier this season by the Nets. He had taken New Jersey to two consecutive appearances in the NBA Finals, and his team was in first place in the Atlantic Division when he was dismissed.

* TINSLEY AT PRACTICE: Pacers G Jamaal Tinsley practiced through pain, a day after having tests on his left ankle.

Tinsley said X-rays did not reveal any broken bones, and he expects to start Game 4 against the Heat tonight. The Pacers lead the series, 2-1.

-- From News Services