Indianaís Comeback Bid Falls Short In Houston

STAR OF THE GAME
TAMIKA WHITMORE
Whitmore led Indianaís scoring attack with 19 points and six rebounds. She provided most of the Feverís offense early, scoring 11 of Indianaís 21 first half points. She finished in double figures scoring for the fifth game in a row.
UNSUNG HERO
EBONY HOFFMAN
Hoffman was quiet in the first half with some foul trouble, but came on strong in the second half where she scored 12 of her 13 points as Indiana attempted its comeback. She also led the Fever with seven rebounds in the game.
QUOTABLE
BRIAN WINTERS
In general:
"Obviously we had a shaky start. Why, I don't know, but we didn't come and play as hard as we needed to play initially and then we got behind and had to play catch up the rest of the game. The Comets are a good team and I give them credit for what they did. We had a good start at 4 and 0, but we lost the road game, so now we just have to move on. The Comets just played better than us tonight and they deserve to win."

On the absence of Tamika Catchings:
"We kind of knew that it was a good chance she wouldn't play. We didn't know exactly until game time, but we planned for that. Anytime you take a player of Tamika's ability and caliber out of the game it is always difficult. If you took Sheryl Swoopes and Tina Thompson out of the Comets game, it hurts them too, that's just the way it is.





HIDDEN NUMBERS
Points in the paint:
Fever 32, Comets 38
Second-chance points:
Fever 8, Comets 12
Fast-break points:
Fever 9, Comets 6
Points off turnovers:
Fever 21, Comets 22
Starters scoring:
Fever 39, Comets 58
Bench scoring:
Fever 21, Comets 15
GAME REPORT
Comets 73, Fever 60
May 31, 2006 at Toyota Center (Houston, TX)
Box Score | WNBA Recap

Team Record 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
Indiana 4-1 8 13 17 22 60
at Houston 3-1 22 16 12 23 73

HOUSTON, TX Ė The first back-to-back of the season and star guard Tamika Catchings in street clothes added up to a long night for the Fever on Wednesday. Indiana picked up its fourth win in a row Tuesday at home over New York, but started off cold and warmed up too late in a 73-60 loss to the Houston Comets in Toyota Center.

The loss was the first for Indiana in 2006, falling to 4-1 on the season. With the win, Houston improved its mark to 3-1. Due to a foot injury, Catchings missed the first game of her career and in the process snapped a streak of 138 straight games played during the past four-plus seasons.

Tamika Whitmore led all Fever scorers with 19 points and six rebounds. Ebony Hoffman caught fire late, scoring 12 of her 13 points in the second half. Tan White added 12 off the bench for the Fever, while rookie LaíTangela Atkinson had her most productive game of the season, contributing six points and six rebounds.

Dominique Canty finished with a career-high 24 points on 9-of-11 shooting to lead the Comets to its fourth consecutive win over the Fever. Sheryl Swoops and Tina Thompson scored 12 apiece.

The Comets jumped on the Fever early, scoring the gameís first 11 points. Indiana failed to break the scoring column until Whitmore completed a 3-point play with 5:14 left in the opening quarter. Indiana was able to cut the Houston lead down six midway through the first quarter, however the Comets would go on a 9-1 run to close out the quarter and lead by 14, 22-8.

The Fever connected on only 21 percent of their shot attempts in the first half, shooting 6-of-29 from the field. Canty scored 11 first half points for the Comets, including 8 in the second quarter to help extend Houstonís lead to 38-21 at halftime. Whitmore scored 11 of the Feverís 21 points in the first half.

The Fever trailed by 21 at the 4:44 mark of the third quarter. Indiana, however, would go on a 15-4 run, including 9 unanswered, to cut Houstonís lead down to 10. A Hoffman jumper with 7:02 left in the fourth quarter would pull Indiana to within nine points of Houston at 55-46. Houston then went on a quick 6-0 run to regain a comfortable 15-point cushion. The Comets never trailed in the game.


Notes:
  • Indiana played without All-Star Tamika Catchings tonight at Houston for the first time since Aug. 14, 2001, ending a franchise record of 138 consecutive games played that spans four-plus seasons. Catchings, sidelined with a moderate arch sprain in her right foot, has played in every Fever game since the opening game of the 2002 season when she was named the WNBA Rookie of the Year. The reigning WNBA Defensive Player of the Year, Catchings was not in the Fever starting lineup for just the second time in her career. She missed a start on Sept. 10, 2004, against San Antonio, due to a "turf toe" injury on the same foot.
  • Indiana has never won at Houston, going 0-6 since 2000.
  • Indiana sought its fifth straight win to begin the 2006 season. It would have been the Feverís first 5-0 start in franchise history and would also have established a new franchise record for consecutive wins. Houston won its third straight game since falling in its season opener.
  • Indiana continues its Western Conference road trip on Friday, battling the Minnesota Lynx at the Target Center in Minneapolis.


    2006 Game Report Archive