Short-Handed Fever Drops Regular Season Finale, 93-88
|STAR OF THE GAME
Douglas got off to a fast start scoring 23 points in the first half. Douglas led the way for the Fever with 30 points and three assists in 33 minutes of action.
On a night when she became the eigth member of the 5,000 point club, she scored 14 points and grabbed four rebounds.
“Once again I am disappointed that we did not do better on the boards. You cannot give up 19 offensive rebounds and beat anybody. I thought we could steal a game from Atlanta if we scored in transition. Catchings (Tamika) did not play because of a sore knee which she has been dealing with for some time. Season one is over. Good thing is, we won season one and now we have season two.”
On her rhythm tonight
“Just really locking in, staying aggressive, in attack mode. I think using all my experience, regular season wise and playoff wise this time of year to my advantage. Just trying to build and just getting ready to go now on Thursday.”
Points in the paint:
Fever 36, Dream 34
Fever 6, Dream 23
Fever 7, Dream 11
Points off turnovers:
Fever 17, Dream 23
Fever 62, Dream 62
Fever 26, Dream 31
By Cole McKeel | September 11, 2011
Angel McCoughtry scored a game-high 32 points on 9-of-14 shooting, with 12 free throws, to lead the Atlanta Dream past the Indiana Fever, 93-88, in the regular season finale for both teams.
The victory moved Atlanta past New York in the Eastern Conference standings, earning the third seed in the upcoming WNBA Playoffs, and secured a four-game sweep of the top-seeded Fever.
After clinching the top seed in the East on Wednesday and coupled by the absence of point guard Erin Phillips due to an ankle injury, Indiana coach Lin Dunn chose to rest Tamika Catchings who was nursing a sore knee. The Fever will host New York in a first-round playoff series which begins Thursday.
After losing to Atlanta in each of the teams first three meetings this season, the Fever squandered an 11-point third quarter lead despite its shortened roster. Atlanta pummeled Indiana on the glass, 44-30, and outscored the Fever 46-35 in the second half, ruining the home team’s hope of gaining momentum heading into the postseason.
“Once again I am disappointed that we did not do better on the boards,” stated Dunn. “You cannot give up 19 offensive rebounds and beat anybody.”
The Dream useed a 21-11 run over the last six minutes of a high-scoring first period to gain a 29-24 edge. The Fever’s Katie Douglas fueled a 23-2 run in the second quarter, contributing 14 points including three consecutive 3-pointers, pushing Indiana in front 55-47 at intermission.
Douglas set a new season-high for points, scoring 16 of her team-high 30 points in the second quarter, which ties a franchise record. Her four second quarter trifectas was one shy of the WNBA record set by Diana Taurasi (5) for 3-pointers in a quarter.
“I was just really locked in, staying aggressive, in attack mode. I try to use all my experience, regular season and playoff-wise, to my advantage,” said Douglas.
The Fever kept things rolling early in the second half, eventually pushing the lead to 11 points on a 3-pointer by Tangela Smith. However, Atlanta rallied back, bringing the game to a deadlock at 71-71 at the end of the third quarter. Then, the Dream took the lead for good on Coco Miller’s 16-foot pull-up jump shot.
Smith, who entered the game a mere three points shy of becoming the eighth player in WNBA history to record 5,000 career points, wasted no time getting the proverbial monkey off her back, with a pair of baskets in the first three minutes of the game. The milestone was achieved at the 7:14 mark, when she connected on an 18-foot jumper.
“I feel it was a great honor,” said Smith, who finished the night with 14 points and four rebounds. “I’ve played with a lot of great players. Some all-time great players. I just feel blessed to have played 14 seasons. I played with some great players and have a lot of great memories, so I’ll always cherish this.”
Indiana battles the fourth-seeded Liberty when the East Semifinals open Thursday at Conseco Fieldhouse (8 p.m., ESPN2). The Liberty defeated the Fever on Friday, 83-75, in Newark, N.J. New York also beat the Fever in a three-game semifinal series in 2010.
Postgame Notes: With tonight's win by the Dream, Atlanta locks up third place in the Eastern Conference and the Fever will begin the 2011 playoffs vs. New York on Thursday at 8:00 p.m.
The second Fever player to reach 30+ points in a game this season, Katie Douglas's 32 points are a season-high and two points of the franchise record she established in 2009.
Douglas made four 3-pt FG in the second quarter tonight, one short of the WNBA record for a quarter set by Phoenix's Diana Taurasi.
Douglas's five 3-pt FG in the game were her most this season since she tied a career-best with six in a win over Phoenix, 6/28.
With her first three points tonight, Tangela Smith became the eighth player in WNBA history to score 5,000 points in her career.
Scoring 30+ points for the sixth time this season, Angel McCoughtry's 32 points tonight tied the most scored against the Fever this season.
With its win tonight, the Dream swept the four-game season series with the Fever. Coming into 2011, Atlanta had won a total of four games vs. Indiana in its first three seasons.
Atlanta outscored the Fever, 24-12, at the foul line tonight and the Dream's 37 free throw attempts were one short of the most by a Fever opponent this season.
Angel McCoughtry's 14 attempts (12-14) are the most by any opposing player against the Fever this season.
Sitting out tonight's game with a right knee strain, Tamika Catchings's streak of consecutive games played streak comes to an end at 114 in a row, the second longest streak in franchise history.
Having shot 51+ percent from the floor tonight, the Fever shot 50 percent or better from the field for the 11th time this season. The loss to the Dream is the Fever's third in those 11 games.
Atlanta's 23 second chance points are the most by an Indiana opponent this season, as are the Dream's 19 offensive rebounds.
The only Fever player with more than one blocked shot tonight, Shavonte Zellous tied her career-high with three rejections tonight.
Zellous also tied her career-high with seven rebounds tonight.
Angel McCoughtry also tied her career-high with three blocked shots.
With 15 points and nine rebounds, Jessica Davenport just missed her second career double-double.