STAR OF THE GAME
Katie Douglas
In 31 minutes, Douglas scored 21 points and went 3-of-4 from the 3-point line. She also finished the game with three steals and three assists.
UNSUNG HERO
Jessica Davenport
Davenport registered the first Fever double-double of the season. She scored 12 points, including a last-second 3-pointer to end the third quarter, and grabbed a team high 10 rebounds. She also added three blocked shots and one steal.
QUOTABLE
Lin Dunn
In General:
"I love to start the season with a win over Atlanta. We got good help from the bench. We started very well. Atlanta did not seem as intense to start the game. We did not reposnd to their intensity in the third quarter. We got good help from everyone who played. We gave up too many offensive rebounds in the second half."

Katie Douglas
In General
"There were times when it was really pretty and times it was very ugly. We did a good job of sharing the basketball. We came out flat at halftime, didn't handle their adjustments. We will take this win, learn from it and try to get better."

HIDDEN NUMBERS
Points in the paint:
Fever 20, Dream 34
Second-chance points:

Fever 17, Dream 17
Fast-break points:

Fever 2, Dream 7
Points off turnovers:

Fever 19, Dream 17
Starters scoring:

Fever 68, Dream 71
Bench scoring:

Fever 24, Dream 13
A Satisfying Win On Opening Night

Team Record 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
Atlanta 0-1 20 12 28 24 84
at Indiana 1-0 28 19 27 18 92

Gameday Spotlight: Newcomers help Fever to opening-night victory

By Tom Rietmann | May 19, 2012

INDIANAPOLIS -- It wasn't always artful. The Indiana Fever players knew afterward there's sprucing up to do. Some clutter has to go.

“At times, it was really, really pretty, and at times, it was really, really ugly,” Katie Douglas said after the Fever wrapped up a 92-84 victory over Atlanta on Saturday night in the 2012 season opener. “But it's much more fun to learn from a win than it is from a loss.”

Similar comments came from all around the Fever locker room after the team pleased a Bankers Life Fieldhouse crowd of 9,403 with the hard-earned triumph. Indiana placed five players in double-digit scoring, led by 21 from Douglas. Tamika Catchings scored 16, and Jessica Davenport had a double-double of 12 points and 10 rebounds.

When Indiana's Shavonte Zellous, who totaled 11 points, opened the action with a 17-foot field goal, it provided a window to the rest of the game. The Fever led wire to wire.

Indiana knocked off a Dream squad that won all four regular-season games between the teams last year and then eliminated the Fever in the WNBA Eastern Conference finals.

“We love to start the season with a win,” Indiana Coach Lin Dunn said, “and we really love to start the season with a win over the Atlanta Dream.”

Asked to grade the opening-night triumph, Dunn gave it a B-minus.

“I thought our decision-making overall was the weakest part of our game,” Dunn said.

That was most evident in the third quarter, when Atlanta sliced a 47-32 deficit to two points at 62-60. But Indiana righted the ship, erupting for a 14-0 run that provided a 76-60 margin early in the fourth quarter. The 6-foot-5 Davenport provided the biggest play, hitting a long 3-pointer as the third quarter expired.

“Earlier, in our shoot-around, I was kind of playing around and hit some crazy shots,” said Davenport, who was swarmed by her teammates after burying the trey. “Maybe that was a good thing that happened earlier.”

Indiana connected on 12-of-21 3-pointers (57.1 percent). The franchise record for 3-pointers in a game is 13.

Eight different Fever players had at least one trey, setting a new WNBA standard for most players to hit a 3-pointer in a game.

The Indiana bench produced 24 points, seven rebounds and six assists. Brian January led the reserves with 11 points.

“We just have such a deep bench this year,” said starting guard Erin Phillips. “We have so many options.”

Indiana forced 19 Atlanta turnovers and held the visitors to 41.9 percent shooting. Angel McCoughtry led the Dream with 26 points. Sancho Lyttle had 18 points and 10 rebounds.

When it was over, however, Indiana's players knew that work remains. The goal is an eighth consecutive playoff appearance at season's end. After that, a Fever team that changed little in the off-season and ranks among league favorites in 2012 will take aim at the WNBA title.

“Yes, it's great that we won,” Catchings said. “The crowd was awesome tonight, as always. We were able to get that 'W.' But looking at where we want to be at the end, we have to clean some things up.”

Postgame Notes:

  • With tonight's win, the Fever starts off the season with a home win for the second year in a row. Indiana has won its home opener in nine of the last 11 seasons, since losing its home opener in both 2000 and 2001.
  • With 12 points and 10 rebounds, Jessica Davenport registered the first double-double by a Fever player this season. Davenport’s 12 points included the second 3-pt FG of her WNBA career. She also hit one during the 2010 season.
  • Including five in the first quarter, the Fever made 12 3-pt FG tonight, one short of the franchise record. The Fever had eight different players make at least one 3-pt FG, led by Katie Douglas’s three on four attempts.
  • The Fever set a WNBA record by having eight different players hit 3-point field goals in the same game.
  • Outrebounded on the offensive glass, 16-10, by the Dream, Indiana and Atlanta both scored 17 second chance points.
  • Katie Douglas and Tamika Catchings each had three steals and the team had 11 thefts for the game.
  • Indiana had assists on 16 of its 30 field goals tonight, having five players (Catchings, Douglas, Phillips, January and Pohlen) with three each.
  • In addition to her double-double, Davenport also led the Fever with three blocked shots. She was the only Indiana player with more than one rejection and the team had a total of six blocks tonight.
  • The Dream outshot the Fever from the foul line through the first three quarters 18 attempts to 12, and outscored Indiana, 13-11. However, the Fever shot as many free throws in the fourth quarter (12) as it had in the first three quarters combined and outscored Atlanta, 9-5, from the line in the final 10 minutes.