Indiana Edged By Los Angeles, 73-68

STAR OF THE GAME
TAMIKA CATCHINGS
Catchings scored a game-high 27 points on 12-of-20 shooting, to go along with six rebounds and a season-high seven steals. She scored 12 first quarter points as Indiana built an early lead.
UNSUNG HERO
TULLY BEVILAQUA
Bevilaqua finished with 14 points in the game, one point off her season high. She also had three assists and three steals, while shooting 5-of-8 from the floor.
QUOTABLE
BRIAN WINTERS
In general:
“They have a good team. Lisa (Leslie) is having a great year. We didn’t have an answer for her at the end. We played hard and well. A couple mistakes at the end hurt us. We out rebounded them, but they shot a better percentage. The last shot was designed for Anna (DeForge). She had a good look. It just didn’t go.”

On Tamika Catchings:
“She played a heck of a game. She had 27 points and seven steals. Too bad we just couldn’t pull it out.”

TULLY BEVILAQUA
On disappointing loss:
“This loss is obviously disappointing. It’s a credit to LA. We allowed them to hang in there. And when you allow a team to hang in there, it gives them confidence to take the game. Leslie (Lisa) made some great plays down the stretch. We’ll have to review the tape and freshen up tomorrow.”

HIDDEN NUMBERS
Points in the paint:
Sparks 28, Fever 30
Second-chance points:
Sparks 8, Fever 8
Fast-break points:
Sparks 2, Fever 15
Points off turnovers:
Sparks 11, Fever 24
Starters scoring:
Sparks 53, Fever 58
Bench scoring:
Sparks 20, Fever 10
GAME REPORT
Sparks 73, Fever 68
July 22, 2006 at Conseco Fieldhouse (Indianapolis, Ind.)
Box Score | WNBA Recap

Team Record 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
Los Angeles 20-6 16 13 15 29 73
at Indiana 15-9 22 11 14 21 68

INDIANAPOLIS – Chamique Holdsclaw and Temeka Johnson each hit a pair of free throws in the final 20 seconds of regulation to preserve a 73-68 victory for the visiting Los Angeles Sparks over the Indiana Fever Saturday night in Conseco Fieldhouse. With the win, Los Angeles improved its league-best mark to 20-6 and became the first WNBA team to reach 20 wins this season.

With Indiana trailing by three and less than 30 seconds left in the game, Tamika Catchings drove to her right and was fouled on her way to the rim. Catchings, though, would miss both free throws. However, Tamika Whitmore corralled Catchings’ second miss and was fouled on her put-back attempt. Whitmore then toed the line and calmly sunk both free throws to make the score 69-68 with 25.5 seconds remaining.

On Los Angeles' next trip down the floor, Holdsclaw was fouled and made both free throws with 18.3 seconds left. Anna DeForge’s 3-point attempt was off the mark on Indiana’s ensuing possession before Johnson converted a pair from the line to seal the win for Los Angels.

Catchings led all scorers with a game-high 27 points on 12-of-20 shooting. She also added six rebounds and a season-high seven steals in the game. Catchings’ seven steals was only one shy of the most by any player in the WNBA this season and her 27 points was only three off of her season high. Tully Bevilaqua added 14 points, including a pair of 3’s, while the club’s leading scorer, Whitmore, had just nine points as Indiana fell to 15-9 on the season.

Lisa Leslie was Los Angles’ leading scorer with 23 points, while shooing 10-of-17 from the floor. Johnson followed Leslie with 15 points and six assists.

Catchings scored 10 of the Fever’s first 12 points in the game as Indiana led early, 12-4. A Holdsclaw 3-pointer and Leslie lay-up late in the first would pull Los Angeles to within four of Indiana at 20-16. Catchings finished with 12 points in the first quarter on 6-of-8 shooting, as the Fever led 22-16 after one.

With Los Angles down two, Holdsclaw's lay-up tied the game at 23 with 7:41 left in the second quarter. Following a pair of free throws from Catchings, Tan White got free for a break-away lay-up to put the Fever back in front by four. The two teams traded buckets for the remainder of the quarter before the Fever took a 33-29 lead into halftime. Indiana led by as many as nine and never trailed in the first half of play.

Down 51-48 early in the fourth quarter, Los Angeles forward Jessica Moore converted on a 3-point play to tie the game at 51. Moments later, Murriel Page hit a jumper from the right wing to give the Sparks its first lead of the game at 53-51.

Nursing a one-point lead, Bevilaqua stole Leslie's outlet pass before dropping 3-pointer to extend Indiana’s lead to 62-58 with 3:17 left in the final stanza. Lisa Willis then scored her first points of the game from behind the arc to bring the Sparks back to within one, followed by a Johnson steal and fast-break lay-up that re-gained the lead for Los Angeles, 63-62.


Notes:
  • Tonight's loss is just the second for Indiana (9-2) at Conseco Fieldhouse this season.
  • Catchings' 12 field goals is one short of the franchise record she set vs. Orlando, 8/7/02, and are the second most by any player in the history of the franchise.
  • With eight rebounds, Tamika Whitmore led the Fever on the boards for the third time this season. Eight rebounds is one short of her best total of the campaign.
  • Indiana out-rebounded the Sparks, 31-24, but tonight is just Indiana's second loss (11-2) when collecting more rebounds than the opposition.
  • Los Angeles set a franchise record with just one offensive rebound tonight, which is also the fewest ever by a Fever opponent. One offensive rebound ties the WNBA record for fewest in a game and is the fewest by any team since June 30, 2005 by San Antonio at Seattle.
  • Tully Bevilaqua's 14 points represents her second game of 10+ points this season and is one off her best outings of 2006.
  • Lisa Leslie scored nearly half her team-high 23 points in the fourth quarter, connecting on 5-7 FG and 1-1 FT for 11 points in the period.
  • The Sparks' win is their fifth in a row against Indiana and L.A. leads the all-time series with Indiana, 10-1.
  • Indiana's 13 steals marked its 12th game of double-digit steals this season and the Fever is averaging an Eastern Conference-best 9.88 spg this season, second best in the WNBA.
  • L.A.'s 29 points in the fourth quarter is one point shy of the most scored in any quarter against the Fever this season. It was also one more point than the Sparks had scored in the second and third periods, combined.
  • Anna DeForge matched her career-high with two blocked shots tonight and those were the only blocks by a Fever player tonight.
  • The Fever is now 1-3 on Saturdays and a combined 3-7 on Friday or Saturday nights.


    2006 Game Report Archive