Fever fall to Sparks
|STAR OF THE GAME
Catchings led the Fever with 27 points, shooting 8-of-16 from the floor and a perfect 10-of-10 from the line. She also added six rebounds and two assists.
In her 35 minutes of play, January scored 11 points and dished a team-high four assists. Nine of her 11 points came from behind the arc.
"I’m very disappointed that we didn’t win this game. We did everything we needed to do except rebound. Their (Los Angeles’) effort to get offensive rebounds was the difference. Rebounding is attention to detail. I told our players to come back better rebounders or don’t come back.”
“It was definitely the difference in the game. You can’t win when you let one person get 20 rebounds. It is not on one person, it is a team effort. It is one thing we will work on and get better when we come back from the break.”
Points in the paint:
Fever 34, Sparks 28
Fever 17, Sparks 33
Fever 4, Sparks 3
Points off turnovers:
Fever 22, Sparks 13
Fever 57, Sparks 74
Fever 17, Sparks 3
Gameday Spotlight: Breaking at midway point of season, Fever regroups for hopeful second-half surge
Associated Press | July 12, 2012
INDIANAPOLIS -- Rookie forward Nneka Ogwumike had 22 points and 20 rebounds to help the Los Angeles Sparks beat the Indiana Fever 77-74 on Thursday night.
Ogwumike finished with 12 offensive rebounds, tying a WNBA record. Los Angeles outrebounded Indiana 47-31 and grabbed 23 offensive boards.
Candace Parker and Kristi Toliver each scored 19 points for the Sparks (15-6), who won their fifth straight in the final game for both teams before the Olympic break.
Indiana (10-7) had a chance to tie in the final seconds, but Tamika Catchings missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer. Catchings scored 27 points and Briann January added 11 for the Fever. Katie Douglas, Indiana's No. 2 scorer, finished with nine points on 3-for-14 shooting.
The game wasn't decided until the final minute.
Ogwumike was called for a foul while boxing out Erlana Larkins with 35.5 seconds left. Larkins could have given Indiana the lead, but she missed both free throws and Los Angeles rebounded. Toliver was fouled and made both of her free throws to give the Sparks a 77-74 advantage, setting up the final sequence.
Indiana led 39-30 at halftime. Catchings scored 15 points in the first half to carry an otherwise lackluster Fever offense. Indiana held Parker to six points on 3-for-9 shooting in the first half.
The Sparks rallied early in the second half. Parker's putback cut Indiana's lead to 41-39, and Los Angeles got as close as a point before two 3-pointers by January pushed Indiana's lead back to 51-44.
Parker made a free throw, then missed the second before Ogwumike scored on a putback. Larkins was called for a technical foul, Los Angeles made the free throw and suddenly it was a one-point game again.
The Sparks finally took the lead late in the third quarter, but Indiana hung tough. A pair of free throws by Catchings with 0.5 seconds left in the period gave the Fever a 57-56 lead heading into the fourth. Parker and Ogwumike each scored 10 points in the third to pull Los Angeles back into the game.
Postgame Notes:With today’s win the Sparks win at Bankers Life Fieldhouse for the first time since 2006 and improved to 14-8 in the series with the Fever, overall.
Nneka Ogwuimike’s season-high 20 rebounds featured 12 offensive rebounds, tying the WNBA record set by Cheryl Ford at San Antonio, 5/22/06. Her 20 total rebounds are two short of the most by any player in the league this season.
L.A.’s total of 47 rebounds ties the third highest by an Indiana opponent in franchise history and the Sparks’ 23 offensive boards are the second most ever by a Fever opponent, one short of the 24 grabbed by the Washington Mystics, 9/6/09.
Tamika Catchings’s game-high 27 points included 10-10 from the foul line. She is the ninth player to hit at least 10 free throws without a miss in Fever franchise history.
Tonight’s loss is the Fever’s third (10-3) of the season in a game in which Indiana led at the end of three quarters (57-56).
Including a season-high eight points from Erlana Larkins, the Fever bench outscored the Sparks’ reserves, 17-3. L.A.’s bench had no points in the second half.
Tammy Sutton-Brown’s three blocks are her most since having a season-high four at Tulsa, 6/23.
The Fever’s last three games have all been decided by three points or less and the loss tonight drops Indiana’s record to 3-3 in games decided by three points or less.
The Fever scored 22 points off the Sparks’ 14 turnovers, but the loss was Indiana’s third in a game in which it scored 20+ points off turnovers (4-3). Indiana has had fewer turnovers than the opposition 13 times and the loss tonight is their fourth in those games this season.