LOS ANGELES at INDIANA

Date: Thursday, July 12, 2012
Time: 7:00 p.m. ET
Site: Bankers Life Fieldhouse (Indianapolis, Ind.)
Radio: 1070 The Fan
Television: ESPN2
Webcast: Live on ESPN3.com

Storylines & Promotions

• This is the first matchup between Indiana and Los Angeles this season. The Fever (10-6) is second in Eastern Conference standings and the Sparks rank second in the Western Conference at 14-6.

• Los Angeles enters Bankers Life Fieldhouse on a four-game winning streak, beginning with its victory over Minnesota, the defending WNBA champions, on July 5.

• The Fever is on a two-game winning streak, defeating Chicago and New York by just two points each.

• The last loss for each team has come from San Antonio. The Fever lost 88-72 on July 5 and the Sparks fell 94-80 to the Silver Stars on June 28.

• The Fever is 6-2 when playing at home this season, while the Sparks are 5-5 when playing on the road.

• This is the final contest in Indiana’s four-game homestand. It is also the last game for both teams before parting for the five-week Olympic Break. The Sparks’ Candace Parker will join Tamika Catchings on Team USA in London for the Olympic Games.

• Fever guard Erin Phillips, who has missed the past two games due to concussion symptoms sustained in last week’s loss to San Antonio, practiced with the team on Wednesday and has been cleared to play Thursday against L.A. Similarly, Briann January also has a clean bill of health after sustaining a sprained left ankle in Tuesday’s win.

• Some upcoming Fever milestones: Catchings needs one double-double to tie Lauren Jackson with the third-most double-doubles in WNBA history, 76… Already the only player above 6-feet tall to rank among the WNBA’s Top 10 all-time assist leaders, Catchings (1,197) is three assists shy of becoming the ninth player in league history to reach 1,200 career assists. She is nine assists shy of moving past Vickie Johnson (2,905) in the No. 8 spot on the all-time list… Katie Douglas (293) needs seven 3-point field goals to reach 300 in her Fever career.

• Thursday’s game is an IMCU 2 for 1 Thursday. Pick up a voucher at any IMCU locations for a special 2 for 1 ticket offer for all Tuesday and Thursday home games. Or visit the Bankers Life Fieldhouse Box Office and ask for the IMCU 2 for 1 ticket offer.

• Stop by the Dribble to Stop Diabetes table on the main concourse during the Fever vs. Sparks game on July 12 to register to win an autographed Tamika Catchings Basketball and learn more about living an active, healthy lifestyle and how Tamika is raising awareness about diabetes prevention, management and the potentially serious health complications that can be associated with the disease. Dribble to Stop Diabetes is a national multimedia campaign developed by the National Basketball Association (NBA), the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) and the NBA Development League, in collaboration with the American Diabetes Association and Sanofi US.

Players To Watch

Fever – Tamika Catchings
The reigning WNBA MVP has been no less than impressive in the first half of this season. Before Catchings heads to London to compete for her third gold medal, she can smile while looking back on a successful season thus far. In a nail biter against New York on Tuesday, Catchings hit key back-to-back 3-pointers, giving the Fever a little cushion at the end of the fourth quarter. The 6’1” forward was relentless in driving to the basket and finishing inside, leading Indiana with 23-points. Catchings shot 9-of-15 from the field and grabbed six rebounds. Catchings is averaging 17.6 points per game and 7.4 rebounds per game.

Sparks – Candace Parker
In Los Angeles’ victory over Phoenix on Tuesday, Parker led the Sparks with 22 points and 14 rebounds. She also added four assists and three blocks. Tuesday’s double-double performance was Parker’s fifth straight. The 6’4” forward out of Tennessee is averaging 19 points, ranking fifth in the league. She ranks third in the league in rebounding, grabbing 10.3 per contest. Parker is a top contender for the 2012 WNBA MVP.

Probable Starters

Fever - F-Tamika Catchings, F- Shavonte Zellous, C-Tammy Sutton-Brown, G- Katie Douglas, G-Briann January

Sparks – F- Nneka Ogwumike, F- DeLisha Milton-Jones, C- Candace Parker, G- Alana Beard, G- Kristi Toliver


Last Games

Fever vs. Liberty - Tamika Catchings scored 23 points, including the winning free throws with 8.4 seconds left, to give the Indiana Fever an 84-82 victory over the New York Liberty on Tuesday. Katie Douglas scored 20 points and Shavonte Zellous added 12 as the Fever (10-6) squandered a 12-point lead and trailed by four in the final minutes before rallying. Indiana finished 53 percent from the field, including 9-of-18 on 3-pointers. Cappie Pondexter scored a season-high 33 points and Essence Carson added 14 for the Liberty (6-11), who have lost two straight and six of nine.

Sparks vs. Mercury - Candace Parker had 22 points and 14 rebounds to lead the Los Angeles Sparks to a 90-71 victory over the Phoenix Mercury for their fourth straight win. Kristi Tolliver added 19 points and six assists and Nneka Ogwumike had 11 points and 14 rebounds for Los Angeles (14-6). DeWanna Bonner and rookie Sammy Prahalis both had 14 points and seven rebounds to lead the Mercury (4-14). Alexis Gray-Lawson added 13 points and Krystal Thomas scored 11.


Series

In the last three seasons the Fever is 4-2 against the Sparks and 3-0 when playing at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. The two teams have never met in the playoffs. Indiana is 8-13 against Los Angeles overall.