|STAR OF THE GAME
Whitmore came off the bench to lead the Fever with 18 points, three rebounds, four assists, two steals and one blocked shot in the victory over Detroit.
DeForge had a game-high eight rebounds and five steals, while also contributing 17 points and two assists for the Fever in the win over the Shock.
“Defense was pretty good tonight. We did have some break downs here and there. Whitmore (Tamika) has played well in the sixth person position. We need her to play well and get good quality minutes. Our bench played well down the stretch as they have all season. We have three days to focus on playing Connecticut.”
On playing Connecticut in the playoffs:
“We are not that far off. One less turnover or one more rebound could have been the difference in any of those games. We need to take care of the ball and for that there is no strategy. Our coaches will watch film, but it will be up to us to execute.”
Points in the paint:
Fever 24, Shock 26
Fever 12, Shock 6
Fever 11, Shock 13
Points off turnovers:
Fever 25, Shock 22
Fever 42, Shock 19
Fever 30, Shock 47
INDIANAPOLIS, Aug. 19 (AP) -- Tamika Whitmore had 10 of her 18 points in the fourth quarter, leading the Indiana Fever to a 72-66 victory over the Detroit Shock on Sunday night in the teams' regular-season finale.
Top-seed Detroit, finishing with four straight losses, will open the Eastern Conference playoffs Friday at New York. Second-seed Indiana will begin Thursday at Connecticut.
The Shock, who tied their season-high with 24 turnovers, led by four points early in the fourth quarter. A 3-point basket by Whitmore and a free throw by Tammy Sutton-Brown helped the Fever regain the lead and started a 9-2 run that put Indiana ahead for good.
The Fever took their biggest lead at 68-61 on a pair of free throws by Whitmore, and Detroit never came closer than four points the rest of the way.
Anna DeForge added 17 points and a season-high five steals, while Sutton-Brown finished with 11 points.
Reserves Plenette Pierson and Shannon Johnson led Detroit with 13 points each.
The defending champion Shock, already assured of the best record in the WNBA and the home-court advantage throughout the playoffs, gave their starters plenty of rest over the final four games of the regular season. Their only question was who their first-round opponent would be, and New York's 58-52 win over Chicago on Sunday gave the Liberty the final playoff spot in a tiebreaker with Washington.
Indiana never led by more than two points early in the game and fell behind by seven before Detroit's turnovers let the Fever back into the game.
After a 3-pointer by rookie Ivory Latta gave Detroit a 24-17 lead, Sutton-Brown scored a basket and free throw for Indiana. Detroit had turnovers on its next four possessions, and a 3-pointer by DeForge completed a 14-2 Indiana run for a 31-26 lead, its biggest of the first half.
The Shock ran off the next nine points before a late basket by Indiana rookie Alison Bales cut Detroit's lead to 35-33 at halftime. The game was tied at 50 going into the final period.
Detroit's 24 turnovers led to 25 points by Indiana, and the Shock's reserves outscored the starters 47-19.
Including tonight's win, the Fever has won six of the last seven games against the Shock at Conseco Fieldhouse and nine of the last 14 vs. Detroit overall in the regular season.
In her nine appearances off the bench this season, Tamika Whitmore has outscored the opposing bench four times. Tonight she nearly outscored the opposing starters with her 18 points. The Detroit starting lineup scored just 19 points.
Tully Bevilaqua's six assists are her most this season and are one short of her most in three seasons with the Fever.
Tonight represents the 17th time this season that Indiana has held its opponent under 70 points, the most in the WNBA. Indiana is 15-2 in those games.
With an overall record of 21-13, the Fever has matched its franchise record for wins for the third straight season.
Indiana is the first Eastern Conference team to ever win 20+ games in three consecutive seasons and is just the third team to ever do so in the WNBA.
Indiana had 21 assists on its 24 field goals tonight, its highest percentage of assists on its field goals (.875) this season. Indiana has had 20+ assists just three times all season.
Tan White matched her most assists ever in the WNBA with her five tonight.
Including five by Anna DeForge, the Fever tied its most steals of the last 19 games with 14 tonight. That is the team's second highest total and its most since having 16 at Washington, 7/1.
DeForge's five steals tied her career-high, which she set against the Fever in July, 2004. Five steals ties the most by any Fever player this season, other than Tamika Catchings.
The Fever had seven blocked shots tonight, including a career-high three from Alison Bales. This is just the second game of the season with multiple blocks for Bales.
The Fever was outrebounded, 37-25, and tonight's win is the team's 10th of the season (10-7) when being outrebounded.
Including her game-high eight tonight, Anna DeForge has led the Fever in rebounds four times this season. She has done so in three of the last five games. Eight rebounds is one short of her career-high, which she matched at Chicago, 8/7.
The Fever was outscored at the foul line tonight, 22-17, and Indiana is just 4-11 this season when making fewer free throws than the opposition.
Including the victory tonight, the Fever has won more games on Sunday (7-1) than any other night of the week.
Tonight's win caps off a 4-3 August and the Fever has had a at least a .500 record in 12 straight months. The last time Indiana was below .500 in a month was September, 2004 (3-4).
2007 Game Report Archive