Storm can't break Fever, loses 78-61
Poor shooting, turnovers are costly in Storm's loss at Indiana.
Special to The Seattle Times
Los Angeles @ Seattle, 7 p.m., KONG
INDIANAPOLIS — The Indiana Fever showed the Seattle Storm why it is leading the WNBA's Eastern Conference on Tuesday, holding off a late surge by the visitors and extending its league-best winning streak to five games.
Using a balanced scoring attack, the Fever led nearly the entire game en route to a 78-61 decision. The Fever opened a 19-point advantage in the third quarter and answered a challenge in the final period when Seattle cut the gap to six points.
Jessica Davenport led Indiana (8-3) with 15 points, connecting on 7 of 11 attempts from the field. The 6-foot-5, 215-pound center also had a season-high three assists and four of Indiana's six blocked shots.
"I kind of let the game come to me," Davenport said. "They double-teamed a lot early. I was able to move the ball so people on the weak side could get open shots. Towards the end of the game, they started playing single, and I was able to get my game doing down low."
"We have the best depth in the league. We can go from one through 11 and play all of our players," said Tangela Smith, who had 10 points for Indiana.
Tamika Catchings scored 11 for the Fever.
Seattle (5-4) was led by Sue Bird with 21 points and Swin Cash had 13.
"It was a tough game," Bird said. "For Indy, they played well and did what they had to do. For us, we let them get a big lead that we could not cut into. They responded to everything we gave them."
A 43 percent shooting effort and 20 turnovers were costly to Seattle. The Fever scored 20 points on 20 Seattle turnovers, and Indiana shot nearly 54 percent from the field.
"Indiana played very well," said Seattle coach Brian Agler. "They disrupted our offense. We couldn't get in the flow."
"We did a good job sharing the ball," said Indiana coach Lin Dunn. "We did not turn the ball over much (11). We did a great job of going inside to Davenport."
Indiana, which had defeated Seattle only twice in the teams' last eight meetings, built its biggest lead at 48-28 on a short jumper by Davenport with 7:39 remaining in the third period.
The Storm got as close as six points twice in the final period. After a short jumper by Tanisha Wright left Seattle trailing 60-54 with 7:41 to play, Indiana responded with a seven-point run and Seattle never got within single digits again.
Seattle took the lead at 7-6 on a three-pointer by Cash, and Camille Little then put the Storm up by three, its only leads of the game.
But Indiana responded with 12 consecutive points, starting with a pair of three-pointers by Katie Douglas. The Storm had three turnovers and missed its only shot attempts — a pair of three-point efforts — during the run that put Indiana up 20-11 with 3:49 left in the period.
Indiana helped itself by outscoring Seattle 14-2 from the free-throw line.
• Cash was named Western Conference player of the week for games through Sunday. Cash scored 25 points and grabbed nine rebounds in the Storm's 75-70 loss at Connecticut on Friday. She had 19 points and seven rebounds Sunday in a 73-63 victory at Washington. Coming into Tuesday's game, Cash led the Western Conference in scoring at 22 points per game and was fourth in rebounding at eight per game.
|Seattle||18||9||20||14 — 61|
|Indiana||23||19||16||20 — 78|
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