|STAR OF THE GAME
Catchings had another double-double with 22 points and 11 rebounds. She was 10-for-13 from the free throw line and also added one assist, three steals and one blocked shot.
Whitmore was 8-for-14 from the field, scoring 18 points. She also contributed five rebounds, one assist and two steals.
“This was a hard fought game. We got an early lead and maintained it. We tried to stay even with Detroit on the boards. Detroit got in early foul trouble. We’re happy we won but one game does not a series make. We were good in our half court defense. We make enough shots against Detroit’s zone to keep them honest.”
On her shot Detroit blocked, she rebounded and scored:
“I got fired up. It’s symbolic of how I played. Stop me once, won’t stop me twice. You can’t let your emotions get too high or too low. We’ll watch film and learn from our mistakes before we go to Detroit.”
On the total number of blocked shots for the Fever:
“It’s not just our interior defense. Our perimeter players did a good job of making Katie Smith and Deanna Nolan uncomfortable. How Deanna and Katie go, Detroit goes. We’re not scared of going to Detroit. We beat them there this season without Ford (Cheryl), but we are a more aggressive team than we were at the start of the season.”
Points in the paint:
Fever 14, Shock 28
Fever 16, Shock 19
Fever 8, Shock 5
Points off turnovers:
Fever 10, Shock 5
Fever 54, Shock 40
Fever 21, Shock 25
INDIANAPOLIS -- Tamika Catchings had 22 points and 11 rebounds to help the Indiana Fever beat the Detroit Shock 75-65 on Friday night in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals.
The win puts the Fever one win away from their first trip to the Finals.
Catchings set a franchise record with her fourth consecutive double-double. She is averaging 20.3 points and 14.3 rebounds in the playoffs.
Tamika Whitmore scored 18 points for the Fever and Tammy Sutton-Brown, the All-Star who all but disappeared in the first round of the playoffs, added 11 points, eight rebounds and six blocks for Indiana.
Plenette Pierson led Detroit with 19 points and 10 rebounds and Cheryl Ford added 15 points and 11 rebounds for the Shock.
Indiana outscored Detroit 26-8 from the free-throw line.
Detroit beat Indiana 2-0 in the first round of of last year's playoffs on the way to its second championship in four years. Now the Shock must win Sunday in Detroit to have a chance to repeat.
The Fever got into the bonus with more than six minutes left in the fourth quarter on a shot by Anna DeForge. She completed the three-point play to give Indiana a 64-57 lead.
Detroit cut the lead to 66-63 on a basket by Pierson before Whitmore went to work again.
First, she scored after a spin to the baseline to make it 68-63. Then, Pierson blocked Whitmore's mid-range jumper, but the ball bounced right back to her, and she drained the shot to make the lead 70-63 with 1:41 to go.
Detroit's bench was called for a technical foul, and Catchings made the free throw to make it a 71-63 game. Tully Bevilaqua followed that with a 3-pointer with 1:02 left.
Indiana shot 20 percent in the first quarter, but still led 15-13 after 10 minutes.
The Fever led 33-31 at halftime. Whitmore shot 5-for-8 from the field in the first half, but her teammates shot 5-for-30.
The Fever has now won three straight postseason games for the first time in its history and tonight's win is the team's first ever in the Eastern Conference Finals.
Tamika Catchings' 22 points and 11 rebounds gives her four straight double-doubles. That ties her with Yolanda Griffith for the third longest streak of double-doubles in WNBA playoff history.
Indiana's 19 free throw attempts in the third quarter tied the WNBA playoff record for attempts in a single period. Detroit had 19 in a quarter against the Fever last season (8/19/06) and Connecticut did so against the Mystics one night later (8/20/06).
The Fever's 13 free throws made in the third period also tied the league record for a single quarter set by the Shock against Indiana, 8/19/06.
After totaling seven blocked shots in the entire first-round series, the Fever set a team playoff record with seven blocks tonight.
Tammy Sutton-Brown's six blocked shots are one short of the WNBA playoff record and are the most in league history by any player not named Lisa Leslie. Leslie had at least six four times, including a record seven three times. Sutton-Brown's six are the most by any player in the playoffs since 2002.
The Fever's seven turnovers tonight are the fewest by any team in the 2007 WNBA postseason and are two short of the league record. Indiana's seven turnovers tonight are one short of the franchise playoff record.
While the rest of the team was 13-51 from the floor (.255), Tamika Whitmore shot 8-14 FG. In the first three playoff games this year, Whitmore had shot just 23-55 FG (.418). Whitmore was the only Fever player tonight to attempt a shot and make at least half her shots.
The Fever's 32.3 percent from the floor represents the team's second lowest FG percentage in a playoff game ever and it’s the lowest since the team shot 16-57 FG (.281) in a win vs. New York, 9/1/05.
The Fever matched its lowest total of points in the paint of 2007 with 14 tonight.
Tan White's three points tonight came on her first 3-pt FG of the 2007 playoffs and the second of her WNBA postseason career.
After committing eight turnovers in three games of the series with Connecticut, White had no miscues in 13 minutes tonight. That is White's first outing without a turnover in all of 2007.
One of only two players in Fever playoffs history to make at least 10 free throws in a game, Tamika Catchings did so for the second straight game, hitting 10-13 FT tonight.
Tammy Sutton-Brown's eight rebounds tonight tied her most ever in the playoffs and are her most since having eight for Charlotte vs. Cleveland, 8/20/01. Sutton' Brown's 11 points represent her first effort of double-digit points since hitting for 12 vs. the L.A. Sparks in the 2001 WNBA Finals (9/1/01).
2007 Game Report Archive