Indiana 87, Atlanta 72 (F)INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- Tamika Catchings figured the Indiana Fever owed their fans something after the worst home loss in franchise history.
She delivered with 23 points and seven rebounds, leading the Fever to an 87-72 victory against the Atlanta Dream on Saturday night.
Indiana had lost six of its past eight games coming in, including an embarrassing 84-58 home loss to Connecticut on Thursday night.
"Our fans didn't deserve the kind of effort we put out Thursday,'' Catchings said. "Tonight, we played a good 40 minutes.''
Ebony Hoffman grabbed 14 rebounds for the Fever, who don't want to settle for the fourth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Indiana (13-15) has six games remaining and is 2 1/2 games behind third-place New York (15-12). Second-place Detroit is four games up on the Fever.
"We're not only battling for fourth place, we're also battling to move up to third or second,'' Fever coach Lin Dunn said.
Four of Indiana's remaining games are on the road.
"We played with an aggressive tenacity we haven't had in a long time,'' Hoffman said. "We have to go out and control our own destiny.''
The Fever led by as many as 19 points in the first half but allowed Atlanta to get within 70-62 on Iziane Castro Marques' basket with 5:30 left in the game.
The Fever answered with a 7-2 run, including Sutton-Brown's three-point play, for a 77-64 lead with 3 minutes remaining.
"Sure feels better than it did the other night,'' Dunn said. "I'm glad our players responded to the adversity.''