Cold-Shooting Fever Falls in L.A.

STAR OF THE GAME
KELLY MILLER
Miller had 10 points, a season-high six rebounds and a game-high five assists. She also added two steals and committed just one turnover in 33 minutes of action.
QUOTABLE
BRIAN WINTERS
On the change in momentum:
“I thought the momentum actually began to turn late in the first half. We had a small lead most of the half, then [Los Angeles] hit four or five free throws. And then they got the 3-pointer right at the buzzer that I thought gave them some momentum going into the locker room. In the second half, we just didn't hit shots and they hurt us on the boards.”

On recovering from the loss:
“We need to get up in the morning and do it all over again tomorrow. We need to take care of business in Phoenix. We've put ourselves in a good position so far, but now we just need to win games.”

HIDDEN NUMBERS
Points in the paint:
Fever 22, Sparks 26
Second-chance points:
Fever 3, Sparks 16
Fast-break points:
Fever 10, Sparks 2
Points off turnovers:
Fever 17, Sparks 16
Starters scoring:
Fever 43, Sparks 58
Bench scoring:
Fever 16, Sparks 11
RELATED LINKS
Box Score | WNBA Recap
GAME REPORT
Sparks 69, Fever 59

August 13, 2005 at Staples Center (Los Angeles, Calif.)

LOS ANGELES - Thirty-four percent shooting overall and 29 percent in the second half doomed the Indiana Fever on Saturday as the Los Angeles Sparks outshot and outrebounded Indiana for a 69-59 win at Staples Center.

Indiana, bidding for a franchise-record 17th victory and its first road win in five tries against the Sparks, surrendered an 8-0 run midway through the second half to trail by seven, 51-44, and have to play catch-up through the game's final minutes. The Fever twice cut the margin to three, each time on free throws by Natalie Williams, but the Sparks' rebounding edge - 16-7 in the second half - helped thwart any Fever rallies. Los Angeles outrebounded Indiana 30-22 for the game.

Chamique Holdsclaw scored 18 points, Lisa Leslie had 15 points and 11 rebounds and the Sparks rallied late in the first half to knot the score at 31. Mwadi Mabika, whose 3-pointer tied the score with 1.5 seconds before intermission, added 10 points, seven rebounds and five assists for the Sparks, 13-15, who broke a three-game losing streak and moved within one game of fourth-place Phoenix for the Western Conference's final playoff spot. Before Saturday night's victory, the Sparks had lost six of seven games.

Indiana, meanwhile, lost for the fourth time in its last six games while trying to hold onto second place in the Eastern Conference and secure its second playoff berth in franchise history. The Fever complete a three-game road swing and its final "back-to-back" of the season while playing at Phoenix on Sunday.

Tamika Catchings and Kelly Miller scored 10 points apiece for the Fever, 16-12, who trail first-place Connecticut in the East. Miller also had six rebounds and five assists. Catchings' two assists helped her to break her own franchise record for assists (119). She also contributed four steals to remain on pace to break the WNBA record of 100 steals in a single season.

Catchings' 3-pointer gave Indiana a 44-43 lead before Los Angeles scored eight unanswered points and used an 11-2 surge to move ahead 54-46 with 6:18 to play. The Fever made only one basket in a span of 6:50.

Indiana narrowed its deficit to 54-51 but the Sparks' Tamika Whitmore scored five points during a 10-3 run that extended the lead to 64-54 with 2:31 remaining.

Los Angeles made 15 of 28 shots in the second half while the Fever were 7-for-24.


FEVER NOTEBOOK
  • Indiana concludes its three-game West Coast road swing on Sunday when it visits Phoenix.
  • Indiana is one win shy of a franchise-record 17th win overall, and one road win shy of matching its franchise record for road victories (6).
  • Indiana is 0-5 all-time at the Staples Center.
  • Catchings broke her own assists record, surpassing the 118 assists she totaled as a rookie in 2002.
  • Catchings also owns the Fever's franchise record for steals in a season, 94. She is on pace, though, to break not only her own franchise mark, but the WNBA's all-time mark of 100 steals in a season, held by Teresa Weatherspoon in 1998. Catchings' mark of 94 in 2002 is currently second all-time. With four against the Sparks, she boasts 83 with six regular season games remaining. She must average 3.0 steals per game to break the mark.