Indiana Drops Regular Season Finale To Chicago

STAR OF THE GAME
TAMIKA WHITMORE
Whitmore finished with 10 points on 5-of-6 shooting in just over ten minutes on the floor. Indiana sat down its starters for most of the second half.
UNSUNG HERO
CHARLOTTE SMITH
Smith tied a season-high with 10 points, including three 3’s, off the bench for Indiana.
QUOTABLE
BRIAN WINTERS
In general:
“We tried to win the game. However, I didn’t want to expose the starters and get someone hurt. We played our bench players a lot tonight. I would have liked to have won, but now we must focus on Detroit.”

On losing home-court advantage:
“We would have liked to have home-court advantage, and we had a chance at it until today. Now we’ll just concentrate on our home game Thursday and go to Detroit and see what we can do there.”

TAMIKA CATCHINGS
On the bench’s play:
“The minutes they played tonight are very valuable. As we go into the playoffs, you never know when you might need someone to come in and step up. Our bench will be a necessity in the playoffs. They came out and got us back in the game and did a nice job at the end.”

HIDDEN NUMBERS
Points in the paint:
Sky 32, Fever 34
Second-chance points:
Sky 9, Fever 6
Fast-break points:
Sky 3, Fever 18
Points off turnovers:
Sky 13, Fever 17
Starters scoring:
Sky 55, Fever 37
Bench scoring:
Sky 25, Fever 36
GAME REPORT
Sky 80, Fever 73
August 13, 2006 at Conseco Fieldhouse (Indianapolis, Ind.)
Box Score | WNBA Recap

Team Record 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
Chicago 5-29 21 14 20 25 80
at Indiana 21-13 20 17 12 24 73

INDIANAPOLIS – In a game that ultimately meant nothing with the Fever having already secured the No. 3 seed in the Eastern Conference, no Indiana starter played more than 21 minutes in an 80-73 loss to the visiting Chicago Sky Sunday night. The Fever now sets its sights on a first-round playoff match-up with the Detroit Shock. Game 1 is set for Thursday, August 17 in Conseco Fieldhouse.

Tamika Catchings and Tamika Whitmore each had 10 points in limited action for Indiana, which concluded the regular season 21-13. The Fever’s 21 wins in 2006 matched a franchise record set last season. Charlotte Smith tied a season-high with 10 points, including three 3’s, off the Fever’s bench.

Candice Dupree scored a game-high 24 points, shooting 10-of-14 from the floor. Amanda Lassiter chipped in 17, while Bernadette Ngoyisa added 15 points off the bench for Chicago. The Sky finished its first season in the WNBA with a record of 5-29.

After falling behind early, Chicago used a 7-0 run late in the opening quarter to take its first lead of the game. Dupree’s fade-away jumper put the Sky in front 19-17. Chicago led by as many as seven in the second quarter, however saw its lead evaporate late in the first half.

Indiana would score nine unanswered points to close the second before leading 37-35 at halftime. Smith’s 3-pointer from the top of the key with .3 of a second left regained the lead for Indiana. Dupree paced Chicago with 15 points in the first half on 6-of-10 shooting.

Chicago pulled back in front, 40-39, on a Stacey Dales 3-pointer early in the third quarter. After trading scores midway through the third, a Lassiter runner in the lane would give Chicago the lead for good. Her basket made the score 47-45. The Sky led 55-49 heading into the final stanza.

Indiana rested its starters for the entire fourth quarter as Chicago added to its lead. The Sky led by as many as 14 in the fourth before picking up the fifth win of its inaugural season.


Notes:
  • Indiana has lost two straight games at Conseco Fieldhouse for the first time this season and for the first time since losses to Los Angeles, 6/28/05, and Houston, 7/7/05. Tonight is the marks the first time the Fever has lost two straight home games to Eastern Conference foes since August, 2003.
  • K.B. Sharp accounted for half the Fever's 14 assists with a career-high seven tonight. That tied the most assists by any Fever player this season. Prior to tonight, Sharp had accumulated just 16 assists in 22 games and she had never had more than four in any game.
  • Every Fever player had at least one rebound tonight and 10 of the 11 players had at least two boards, as the Fever outrebounded Chicago, 32-27.
  • The Sky inaugural season ended just as it started, with a road victory. Those were Chicago's only wins away from home this season and tonight's win kept the Fever from sweeping the four-game season series.
  • Charlotte Smith's bench-high 10 points tonight matched her season-high and her three 3-pt FG were a season-best.
  • With her three steals tonight, Tully Bevilaqua finished the season with an average of 2.09 spg--second best in the WNBA. She and Tamika Catchings are the first teammates to finish 1-2 among the league's steals leaders in the history of the WNBA. Bevilaqua (71) and Catchings (94) were the only players in the league to have at least 70 steals this season.
  • Catchings' 94 steals tied the club record she set in 2002 and tied the second most ever by one player in a single WNBA season.
  • Chicago's 54.7 percent shooting from the floor tonight is the best this season by any Fever opponent
  • Candice Dupree's 24 points were one short of the Sky franchise record she set against the Fever at UIC Pavilion, 7/30. Her 10 field goals tonight also tied the Sky team record set against Indiana, 7/30.
  • The Fever's Tamika Whitmore left tonight's game in the second quarter with a left eye abrasion. She is probable for the first game of the 2006 playoffs vs. Detroit, 8/17.
  • With averages of 16.3 ppg, 7.5 rpg, 3.7 apg, 2.94 spg and 1.09 bpg, Tamika Catchings has led the Fever in all five categories in the same season for the second time in her career. She is the only player in WNBA history to lead her team in all five departments in the same season. As a matter of perspective, only three players in NBA history (Kevin Garnett, Scottie Pippen and Dave Cowens) have ever led their team in all five categories. Blocked shots and steals have been tracked as official stats in the NBA only since 1973-74.
  • Indiana's second consecutive appearance in the WNBA playoffs will begin on Thursday, 8/17, here at Conseco Fieldhouse beginning at 7:00 p.m. That game will be televised on ESPN2.


    2006 Game Report Archive