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Fever beat Storm for 1st win
Posted Jun 9 2009 10:08PM
INDIANAPOLIS(AP) The Indiana Fever overcame two scary moments in a physical game to earn their first victory of the season.
Katie Douglas scored 20 points, including five in the fourth quarter after bruising her left eye in a collision with Janell Burse, helping Indiana beat the Seattle Storm 73-66 on Tuesday night.
That was after Indiana's Yolanda Griffith injured her left ankle in the first quarter and was helped into a wheelchair. She did not return and the extent of her injury was not known immediately after the game.
"It was like one person after the other,'' said Indiana forward Ebony Hoffman, who scored 18 points. "It was a collective group of us coming together and saying, 'Look, we're tired of everybody going down, protect yourself and let's just play ball.'''
Tamika Catchings had 14 points and Tammy Sutton-Brown added 10 points and 10 rebounds for the Fever (1-2), who avoided their worst start since 2001 and snapped a three-game losing streak against the Storm.
"It's a big sigh of relief,'' Douglas said. "There was a lot going on out there, so I'm just proud we stuck together, kept getting stops and were able to get this important victory.''
The Fever, who led by five entering the fourth quarter, used a 7-2 run to extend their lead to 65-56. Douglas, who bruised her eye in the third quarter, hit a jumper to give Indiana a 69-60 advantage with 4 minutes left.
Douglas finished 6 for 12 from the field, including 3 for 5 on 3-pointers.
"She's a tough cookie,'' Hoffman said. "You see that eye, I don't know many people who would have come back from that and still shot the ball as deadly as she was.''
The Storm were whistled for 29 fouls and Indiana 21, as the Fever finished 25 for 32 from the free-throw line and Seattle was 13 for 16.
"It was a very physical game,'' Sutton-Brown said. "We all had to focus on defense.''
The Fever held Seattle to 5-of-11 shooting in the final quarter to preserve the victory.
"They've got a tough tandem with Sue Bird and Lauren Jackson, so for us to be able to get defensive stops in the fourth quarter was pivotal,'' Douglas said.
Jackson scored 21 points, Swin Cash had 14 and Bird added 10 points and five assists for Seattle (2-1), which was coming off a home-and-home sweep against Sacramento during the weekend.
"It was hard to get into a good flow and rhythm,'' Jackson said. "We had a good second and third quarter, but they shut us down in the fourth.''