Defense And Rebounding Beat Washington

STAR OF THE GAME
Tamika Catchings
Catchings contributed 24 points and 12 rebounds, giving her a double-double to lead the Fever to victory. Catchings also led the team with two steals and three blocks.
UNSUNG HERO
Anna DeForge
DeForge was key in the clutch, shooting 4-4 from the free throw line and adding 13 points and a pair of assists to help the Fever in the win over Washington.
QUOTABLE
Tamika Catchings
On the key to a strong start.
"We came out focused on our defense. Our defense sets the tone for us. We played defense tough in the beginning and we let that dictate our offense."

Brian Winters
On the early lead:
"We got up and had a big lead, then we got really cold later in the third and fourth period. We struggled to find some baskets, but we managed to find some. We got good defense and rebounding to keep us in it, and that's what wins games. We hit some big shots at the end."

HIDDEN NUMBERS
Points in the paint:
Fever 20, Mystics 24
Second-chance points:
Fever 6, Mystics 12
Fast-break points:
Fever 2, Mystics 4
Points off turnovers:
Fever 9, Mystics 15
Starters scoring:
Fever 60, Mystics 58
Bench scoring:
Fever 14, Mystics 11
GAME REPORT
Fever 74, Mystics 69
June 8, 2007 at The Verizon Center (Washington, D.C.)
Box Score | WNBA Recap

Team Record 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
Indiana 6-1 20 17 16 21 74
at Washington 0-6 8 17 19 25 69

WASHINGTON(AP) Tamika Catchings had 24 points and 12 rebounds for the Indiana Fever, who nearly lost an early 18-point lead before holding on for a 74-69 victory over the winless Washington Mystics on Friday night.

Anna DeForge scored 13 points and Tamika Whitmore added 10 for the Fever (6-1), who went 17-for-18 from the free throw line in winning their second straight game.

Alana Beard led the Mystics (0-7) with 23 points, while Nakia Sanford scored 13 and Tamara James 10.

The Fever led 37-19 in the second quarter and by as many as 13 points in the second half. The Mystics trailed 53-44 after three quarters when Beard scored six points in an 11-2 run, including two free throws that tied that score at 55 with 4:41 remaining.

Tied at 60 with 3:15 left, Catchings hit her second 3-pointer of the game to give the Fever the lead for good. After a layup by James cut the lead to one, Catchings, who had 12 points in the fourth quarter, hit another 3 with 2:08 left to make it 68-64. After Beard, who scored 17 points in the second half, made a layup to cut the lead back to two, Catchings hit two free throws with 1:08 left and the Mystics would get no closer.

The Mystics entered the game as the lowest scoring team (70.5) in the league and their struggles on offense continued. They opened the game by missing 14 of their first 15 shots from the field and fell behind 20-8