Indiana vs Los Angeles

by Tom Rietmann | July 15, 2014

INDIANAPOLIS -- When Candace Parker started taking over the game, there was little the Indiana Fever could accomplish against her.

“Obviously, the game plan was to give the ball to Candace Parker and let her attack our whole team,” Indiana Coach Lin Dunn said about the Los Angeles Sparks' standout.

Parker was unrelenting Tuesday night as she scored a season-high 34 points to lead her Sparks team to an 86-78 victory at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

Parker hit 24 points in the second half. She led the visitors on a 16-4 run to open the third quarter, which wiped out Indiana's 10-point halftime lead. And she totaled 17 points in the third as Los Angeles shot 81.8 percent (9-of-11) from the field.

The Sparks then put the game away with a 14-3 run to end the fourth quarter.

As a result, the Fever's record dropped to 10-12. And the loss was Indiana's eighth in 12 home games this season.

“I don't know if it's a struggle at home or a struggle that we've just continuously had in the second half (of games),” Fever star Tamika Catchings said about the team's mystifying 2014 record at the Fieldhouse.

The Sparks outscored the Fever, 50-32, in the second half. Indiana has surrendered 50 points or more in the second half in three games this season. The team has yielded 40 or more second-half points nine times.

Catchings did her best to keep Indiana in the game. She led her team with 25 points, slashing to the bucket and connecting from all over the floor in her finest performance since missing the first 17 games with a back injury. Shavonte Zellous contributed 16 points for Indiana, as did Marissa Coleman.

Thirteen of Coleman's points came in the first quarter when she was 5-of-5 from the field. But Coleman, who played in a Sparks uniform for two seasons before joining the Fever this year, cooled off with 1-of-7 shooting in the second half.

“For whatever reason, she got gun-shy and started shot-faking and going off the dribble instead of just catching it and shooting it,” Dunn said.

Kristi Tolliver contributed 22 points for Los Angeles (10-11). She buried 7-of-8 free throws as the Sparks connected on 24-of-28 foul shots. Dunn pleaded with her team to cut back on fouls, but the Fever totaled 24.

“They spent the whole second half at the free throw line,” Dunn said about the Sparks, who hit 16-of-19 after halftime.

Fever point guard Layshia Clarendon played 36 minutes, scoring nine points. Briann January, the regular Fever starter at the point, was forced to sit out with a bruised knee on the same day she was selected for her first WNBA All-Star Game appearance.