Catchings Carries Fever Past Sky
By CLIFF BRUNT, AP Sports Writer

Indiana 86, Chicago 70

INDIANAPOLIS, July 8 (AP) -- Tamika Catchings continues to build her case for the league MVP award as the All-Star game approaches.

Catchings had 16 points and a career-high 11 assists to lead the Indiana Fever to an 86-70 win over the Chicago Sky on Sunday night. She also had seven rebounds and seven steals and moved into third place in WNBA history with 474 steals, surpassing Nykesha Sales and Yolanda Griffith.

The Elias Sports Bureau said Catchings was the first player in league history to have at least seven points, rebounds, assists and steals in the same game.

"She's the best player in the league,'' Chicago coach Bo Overton said. "She could probably could play any position, even point guard if they asked her.''

It was one of the best games in Catchings' six-year career, quite a statement for a five-time All-Star. No WNBA player has had a quadruple double, and just four have had triple doubles. Fever coach Brian Winters said she might have reached one of those milestones had she played more than 26 minutes.

"I guess it would be one of my more memorable games,'' Catchings said. "The thing that really matters is that we won, and it was a team effort.''

Catchings knew she was close to the accomplishments, but she didn't want to risk an injury with the game out of reach late. Indiana led by 30 points in the third quarter and 70-49 at the end of the period.

"I think you're conscious of it, especially when people are like 'you only need this, you only need that,''' she said. "Yeah, I would have loved to do it, but I would rather play another game too.''

Catchings averages 17 points, and entered Sunday's game ranked first in the league in steals and second in rebounding. She has led Indiana (13-4) to the league's best record with two games remaining before the All-Star break.

All-Star starter Anna DeForge and reserve Sheri Sam scored 14 points and Tammy Sutton-Brown added 13 for the Fever.

Reserve guard Cathy Joens led Chicago (8-10) with 16 points. The Sky waived the rookie on May 24 and re-signed her on July 5. She scored 10 points in the first quarter, four more than she had scored in her brief WNBA career.

Candice Dupree had 13 points and nine rebounds for the Sky, but she shot 5-for-14 from the field in Chicago's second straight loss.

The Fever shot 49 percent from the field and held the Sky to 35 percent. It was the 12th straight game the Fever held an opponent to less than 40 percent shooting, the best run in WNBA history.

"That's just who we are,'' DeForge said. "That's Indiana Fever basketball.''

Chicago didn't make a field goal for the first 3:19 of the game and the first 5:35 of the second quarter. Indiana led 38-26 in the second quarter, then closed the first half with a 12-0 run to lead 50-26 at the break. The Fever held the Sky to 28 percent shooting before halftime.

"Indiana had more energy tonight and was more aggressive,'' Chicago guard Stacey Dales said. "We didn't come out and match that. They're a playoff team and can win the championship this year.''