Fever Win Second Consecutive in the West
|STAR OF THE GAME
Sutton-Brown scored 18 points on 7-of-10 shooting, and came away with seven rebounds. This game marks the third straight Sutton-Brown has tallied 17 points or more, and ties her season-high in points set last game against Phoenix.
Hoffman shot efficiently from the floor 5-of-8, and the free throw line 5-of-5, on her way to 16 points. This offensive performance is her best since last playing L.A. on July 22. Hoffman also made crucial shots when the Sparks attempted to cut the lead late in the game.
On the win:
“ Any time you hold a team to 36 percent at home, you have a chance to win. We had too many turnovers and fouls, and gave up too many points every time we built a lead, but knew what we needed to get the ‘W’. Any time you win two games on the road is always a good thing.”
On the team's focus:
“We wanted to keep our streak alive. We knew we had to play forty minutes of hard-nosed ball. We had some highs and lows, and peaks and valleys, but we defended and never lost sight of winning.”
Points in the paint:
Fever 24, Sparks 34
Fever 7, Sparks 12
Fever 8, Sparks 7
Points off turnovers:
Fever 21, Sparks 12
Fever 68, Sparks 49
Fever 14, Sparks 17
|at Los Angeles
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Tammy Sutton-Brown scored 18 points Tuesday night and the Indiana Fever held on for an 82-76 victory over Los Angeles after the Sparks retired Lisa Leslie's number.
Katie Douglas had 17 points and Ebony Hoffman finished with 16 for the first-place Fever (19-10), who moved 1 1/2 games ahead of their closest pursuers in the Eastern Conference. Tamika Catchings added 11 points and 11 rebounds.
The Sparks honored Leslie during a halftime ceremony, retiring her No. 9 jersey. Leslie led the Sparks to two WNBA championships, won three WNBA MVP awards and is a four-time Olympic gold medalist.
Tina Thompson had 21 points and a season-best 13 rebounds for the Sparks (10-19), who fell 1 1/2 games behind third-place Minnesota and one game behind fourth-place San Antonio in the race for Western Conference playoff spots.
DeLisha Milton-Jones added 16 points and rookie reserve Andrea Riley had 14 points, six assists and four rebounds for Los Angeles.
Coupled with an Atlanta loss, the Fever took a one and a half game lead in the Eastern Conference. Indiana can clinch a playoff spot on Friday when the Fever host the Phoenix Mercury.
Sweeping a West Coast road trip for the first time in its history, Indiana won for the third straight game and claimed its fifth road win in its last six. It was just the second time that the Fever beat the Sparks in Los Angeles.
Indiana opened big leads in the first and third quarters, but each time saw the homestanding Sparks come back to narrow the margin before halftime and at game’s end. After Indiana broke a 2-2 tie, the Fever never trailed, though L.A. closed within one before halftime and within two, 74-72, with 1:51 remaining.
Buckets by Ebony Hoffman and Tammy Sutton-Brown gave the Fever a six-point cushion with less than a minute to play. A free throw by Katie Douglas with 34.3 seconds remaining pushed the advantage to 7.
The Fever got balanced scoring with four starters in double figures. Tammy Sutton-Brown paced Indiana with a season-high 18 points for the second straight game. Katie Douglas led Indiana with 17 points and a season-high 8 rebounds. Ebony Hoffman returned to her hometown with a 16-point night and Tamika Catchings recorded her second straight double-double effort with 11 points and 11 rebounds. Tully Bevilaqua finished with six points, a season-high six assists and four steals.
Indiana led by as many as 12 in the opening period, but saw its lead dwindle to just two, 40-38, at the intermission. The Fever scored the first 11 points of the second half and led by as many as 17 in the third. Indiana outscored the Sparks 26-18 in the period and took a 66-56 lead into the final quarter.