Indiana Can't Contain Sparks, Loses Second Straight


WNBA | Staples Center (Los Angeles, Calif.)

August 16, 2013

LOS ANGELES – Kristi Toliver scored 28 points on 11-of-15 shooting Friday night to lead the Los Angeles Sparks to a 94-72 victory over the Indiana Fever.

Los Angeles extended its win streak to six games, the longest in the WNBA, while Indiana lost consecutive games for the first time since a 7-game skid in June

Toliver led a Sparks shooting assault that matched the highest percentage ever by a Fever opponent. Los Angeles hit 36-of-57 for 63.2 percent, matching a 2009 effort by the Minnesota Lynx. L.A.’s shooting marked the fourth straight game an opponent has shot 50 percent against the Fever to match the longest streak in Indiana history.

Candace Parker added 18 points on 6-of-11 shooting, while Nneka Ogwumike shot 6-of-7 and finished with 16.

The Sparks, though, did not put the game away until the final moments because Indiana, too, threatened its best shooting of the season, finishing at 44.6 percent with six 3-pointers. The Fever got 16 points from both Tamika Catchings and Erin Phillips. Briann January added 15.

“We competed as well as we could against the team that I think is the best in the league right now,” said Fever coach Lin Dunn. “They have the best post rotation [Parker, Ogwumike and Jantel Lavender] in the league.”

That post rotation contributed to 48 points in the paint for L.A., whose 94 points was also a season-high against Indiana.

Phillips scored a season high for the Fever while shooting 5-of-7 from the floor and was perfect on four 3-point attempts.

The difference in the game was an early 8-0 Sparks run that broke open an 8-8 tie. Los Angeles never had more than a 6-0 run the rest of the way but steadily pushed the lead to 12 at halftime and 16 after three quarters. The 22-point final margin was the largest lead of the game.

Trailing 49-37 at intermission, Indiana cut the lead to 61-54 on a jumper by Catchings with 3:58 left in the period, but the Fever could never stop the Sparks’ shooting.

Catchings became the eighth player in WNBA history to eclipse 12,000 minutes in her career and Phillips reached the 1,000-point plateau for her career. Indiana played without All-Star guard Shavonte Zellous for the third straight game due to plantar fasciitis.

The Fever concludes its West Coast road trip at Seattle on Saturday at 7:00 p.m. (PT)/10:00 p.m. (ET).