|STAR OF THE GAME
DeForge posted 12 points, shooting 7-of-12 from the field including two 3-pointers, seven rebounds and four assists in her Fever home debut. Ten of her 12 came in the third quarter.
White scored a team-high 14 points, 12 in the second quarter as the Fever built a 41-35 halftime advantage. She shot 5-of-7 from the floor and dropped a pair of 3s.
“We have everybody here now. I liked what I saw. We moved the ball well. Our defense looked good. We had inside-outside scoring. Our bench played well. I like the team that I have.”
On Anna DeForge:
“We feel like she’s a top player at her position in the league, and we were lucky to get her. She plays bigger than Kelly Miller [for whom she was traded during the offseason]. Today she had lots of defensive rebounds and we know she can make 3s.”
Points in the paint:
Sparks 20, Fever 22
Sparks 13, Fever 5
Sparks 4, Fever 15
Points off turnovers:
Sparks 14, Fever 22
Sparks 52, Fever 49
Sparks 32, Fever 40
||Fever 89, Sparks 84
May 11, 2006 at Conseco Fieldhouse (Indianapolis, Ind.)|
INDIANAPOLIS – Newcomer Anna DeForge wasted little time in introducing herself to the home crowd at Conseco Fieldhouse Thursday afternoon. DeForge, who the Fever acquired in a trade from Phoenix in January, finished with 12 points, seven rebounds and four assists in her Fever debut, propelling her new team to an 89-84 preseason victory over the visiting Los Angeles Sparks. The win improved the Fever’s record to 2-0 in exhibition play.
The Fever had four players score in double figures, led by reserve guard Tan White who ended up with 14 in the game. DeForge, Tamika Catchings and Tamika Whitmore each netted 12. Los Angeles center Lisa Leslie led the Sparks with a game-high 21 points on 9-of-12 shooting from the field. Guard Temeka Johnson followed Leslie with 13 points and a game-high eight assists.
The Fever jumped to a 10-4 advantage early in the opening quarter, sparked by pair of jumpers from Catchings. Indiana’s six-point cushion would be the largest lead either team would enjoy in an evenly-played first quarter. Both Indiana and Los Angeles shot the ball well despite it being the preseason, with each club shooting better than 50 percent from the floor in the first quarter.
White notched 12 of her 14 points in the second quarter to help the Fever maintain a six-point advantage at the end of the first half. One statistical category did end up reflecting a preseason game – turnovers. Each team struggled taking care of the ball in the first half. Indiana turned the ball over 12 times, while Los Angeles gave it up 11 times.
The Fever gained its first double-digit lead of the game on the strength of a 12-4 run late in the third quarter, with eight of those 12 points netted by DeForge. Following a three-point play from Leslie with under 6.8 seconds left in the third, White hit an off-balance runner over Leslie as time expired extending Indiana’s lead back to 11 heading into the fourth quarter.
The Sparks would hit three three-pointers in the final 30 seconds of the fourth to cut what had been a double-digit lead to four. However, a pair of free throws from La’Tangela Atkinson with 2.5 seconds left sealed the win for the Fever.
Indiana completed an unbeaten preseason schedule for the second straight season. The Fever finished 3-0 during the 2005 preseason, winning its final preseason bout at Phoenix despite a 34-point effort from one of its new stars in 2006, Anna DeForge.
Thursday's game with the Sparks marked an early matchup with Tamika Whitmore facing her former team. Whitmore, a starter in L.A. the past two seasons, and at New York in five seasons prior, was signed to a free agent contract in March. She had 12 points and five rebounds against her former teammates.
Whitmore and Tamika Catchings will wave the green start flag as Honorary Starters at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Friday morning, signaling the start of practice on "Fast Friday" - the final day of practice before qualifications begin for the Indianapolis 500.
The Fever waived its final two players following Thursday's game. Three-year Fever veteran Coretta Brown joined free agent shooting guard Lenae Williams as the final players cut by Indiana. Rookies La'Tangela Atkinson and Kasha Terry, drafted by the Fever in the first and second rounds of the 2006 draft, both made the Fever team.
The Fever looks forward to Tipoff Week when it hosts the Detroit Shock in its regular season opener, May 20 (7:00 p.m.) at Conseco Fieldhouse. Prior to the home opener, Fever players will take part in an annual Rally on the Circle on Thursday, May 18. Fans are encouraged to join the Fever players downtown on Monument Circle, during a lunchtime rally between 11:30 and 1:00 p.m.
2006 Game Report Archive