Fever Suffer 90-84 Setback against Los Angeles
The Sparks scored 21 of the first 24 points in the third quarter to build a 28-point margin.
Los Angeles forced 20 Indiana turnovers and turned them into 27 points. Through three quarters, Indiana amassed 15 turnovers at the cost of 21 points. The Fever managed 19 points from 14 Sparks miscues overall.
Indiana's second unit shot 57 percent in the fourth period and the Sparks made just 29 percent of their shots from the field as the Fever whittled their deficit to single digits.
Leading 45-35 at halftime, the Sparks scored 21 of the first 24 points in the second half and built a 28-point lead at 66-38.
The Fever scored the game's final 19 points to cut a 25-point deficit to six. Indiana trailed 90-65 with 4:24 remaining.
Los Angeles went on a 10-2 run midway through the first quarter to turn an early 9-8 deficit into an 18-11 lead. The Sparks led the rest of the way.
Indiana's 32 points in the fourth quarter were the second-highest total in a fourth quarter in the WNBA this year. The Fever now own the two highest-scoring fourth quarters in the league.
All 12 Fever players finished with at least four points. Shenise Johnson and Erica Wheeler led a balanced offensive attack with 11 points apiece.
With her three assists in the first quarter, Erica Wheeler (471) passed Katie Douglas (470) for third in Fever history. Wheeler needs two assists to reach 500 for her WNBA career.
The Fever got a season-high 50 points from their bench. Shenise Johnson and Stephanie Mavunga accounted for 21 of those points.
Stephanie Mavunga tied her career-high with 10 points on 5-of-6 shooting. Mavunga also pulled down five rebounds and blocked a shot in 12 minutes of action.
Shenise Johnson (11 points) set a new season-high for the second straight game. Nine of Johnson's 11 points came in the fourth quarter.
Betnijah Laney has recorded at least one steal in 15 of Indiana's 17 games. Laney's 1.6 steals per game are tied for ninth in the WNBA.
LOS ANGELES NOTES:
Nneka Ogwumike (22 points), Chiney Ogwumike (19 points), Chelsea Gray (15 points) and Marina Mabrey (10 points) all finished in double figures. Six different players contributed at least eight points for Los Angeles.
Nneka Ogwumike (22 points) reached double figures for the 11th time this season and the eighth time in nine games. Ogwumike has 68 points and 26 rebounds in her last three contests.
Chiney Ogwumike (19 points, nine rebounds) came one board away from posting her second consecutive double-double. Her nine rebounds were a game high.
The Sparks' 31 points in the third quarter were the most third-quarter points in the WNBA this season.
The Sparks have won four of their last five games overall and five of the last six meetings between these teams. Los Angeles leads the all-time series 27-12.
Los Angeles' 16 steals were a season high. Nneka Ogwumike tied a career high with six steals.
Head Coach Pokey Chatman
"It's gonna take all of us and it wasn't nearly enough of us tonight. The veteran players with the high minutes have to bring it because they can and they should - it's their responsibility. I include myself with that, it's us together."
"I applaud those players. And I'll single out Paris Kea in particular, who, when she went in the game, wasn't very good at the start. But she listened to her teammates and brought us some energy. She showed why we drafted her. We got some good minutes from a few of those players and I don't like to single her out, but I was a point guard and I'm usually hard on my point guards, so I need to give her credit when she made an impact."
"We need to get some rest and get ourselves ready for Connecticut on Sunday. I don't know what it is, but I still believe there is more in this group. And it's my job to get it out of them."
(On the run the Fever made in the fourth quarter with the bench players)
"You know that group sitting on the bench, they were hungry. It wasn't an X, it wasn't an O. They came out there and fought for every possession, both defensively and offensively. I thought that we did a good job of staying together and pushing pace. We communicated very well. We huddled on every second that we could. We encouraged each other and we really had to make sure that we were positive because we were getting blown out by 30 and we could've easily hung our heads. But when we came back into the timeout everybody was talking to us as well, telling us good job, keep going. So it allowed us to help pushing and be better."
"The starters gotta be better. We gotta start the game better. We can't rely on us, we're the second group for a reason. [The starters] do a lot of things well and tonight they just didn't have it. We didn't have it as a collective unit. But we're going to fix it."
(On the starters)
"We gotta start better. We gotta stick to the schemes. Just be aggressive."
(On the reserves)
"They did an amazing job. They brought energy, they were pushing the pace, playing some great defense, scored. They did amazing. I commend them for coming off the bench and bringing the energy."
LOS ANGELES QUOTES:
Head Coach Derek Fisher
"Overall, it's tough to win games on the road in this league. I mean, it really is. We're trying to focus on the positives of coming in. Indiana's a really, good solid team. Pokey [Chatman]'s doing a good job and we'll take the win. We didn't finish the way we would like to finish games, but we'll take the win for sure."
(On responding to the energy from the Fever bench, in the fourth quarter)
"It's tough. We only have nine bodies to start with and so as the game went on, I think fatigue started to set in and we didn't mentally keep ourselves engaged. But you have to give that unit credit for the Fever. They just came in and played hard, regardless of the score. And that's what all players have to do. We let up in that area a little bit and the game was closer than it needed to be."
"We were focused for most of the game. It's not necessarily how we play, it's about how competitive we are. I'm proud of our effort."
(On the first and second half)
"I think we did a good job, first half. Second half, fourth quarter, we sort of let our guard down. But that's going to be the challenge for us. We may not have a full roster but we have to find ways to grind it out. I'm proud of our effort, proud of how we improved, how hard we played. This league is never get too high, never get too low."
"I feel good. We had a really, great first three quarters. Kind of got away from us in the fourth. But we knew that coming in, that they were a team that doesn't give up. So I wanted to make sure that we understood that we couldn't relax. Throughout the game we were a little lax a little bit in the fourth. But I'm glad we were able to come out with a win."
(What were you trying to do to stop the Fever's comeback in the fourth quarter?)
"We had to try and stop them. I don't think that we were getting the stops that we needed. You know, we allowed them to get into the paint a little bit more and that lead to some easy buckets. And when that happens, then we can't play in transition. That's kind of what got away from us. But we were able to kind of recompose ourselves a little bit. They fought towards the end though."
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Women's National Basketball Association Stories from July 12, 2019
- Wings Travel to Seattle for Tussle with Storm - Dallas Wings
- Fever Suffer 90-84 Setback against Los Angeles - Indiana Fever
- Ogwumike Sister Power Sparks Past Fever - Los Angeles Sparks
- Aces and Mystics Square off with First Place on the Line, Saturday, at 4 PM PT. - Las Vegas Aces
- Diana Taurasi to Make 2019 Season Debut Tonight at Connecticut - Phoenix Mercury
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