Catchings, Fever top Sparks without LeslieMay 25, 2007 - 1:27 AM INDIANAPOLIS (Ticker) -- Playing without three-time MVP Lisa Leslie caught up with the Los Angeles Sparks. Tamika Catchings and the Indiana Fever made sure of it.
Catchings scored 24 points to lead a balanced attack for the Fever, who had a stellar second quarter en route to an 83-70 victory over the Sparks on Thursday.
Tamika Whitmore scored 11 points for Indiana, which won for just the second time in its last 11 meetings with Los Angeles since joining the WNBA in 2000.
The Sparks opened the season Tuesday for the first time in their 11-year existence without star center Leslie, who is expecting her first child in June and is out indefinitely.
In that season opener, Los Angeles was able to lean on WNBA All-Decade Honorable Mention member Chamique Holdsclaw, who had 15 points and eight rebounds as the Sparks coasted to 72-56 victory over the Chicago Sky.
But was a different story Thursday against Indiana, which outscored Los Angeles, 23-14, in the second quarter. The Fever had a remarkable 10 players score and dished out 14 assists while committing just 10 turnovers.
Catchings led the charge, shooting 8-of-14 from the field, including 2-of-5 from the arc. One of her 3-pointers helped the Fever take control in the third quarter, making it 47-33 with 8:40 left.
But Holdsclaw helped the Sparks battle back, drilling a shot from the arc to tie the game, 50-50, with 3:15 remaining in the third. After the teams traded baskets, Indiana closed out the period with an 8-0 spurt to regain control of the contest, opening a 60-52 advantage.
Holdsclaw had 23 points and six rebounds for Los Angeles, which shot 46 percent (27-of-59) and was outrebounded, 34-29.
LOS ANGELES 70
INDIANA 83 FINAL
May 24 9:10 PM
LOS ANGELES 52
INDIANA 60 END, 3RD QTR
May 24 8:35 PM
LOS ANGELES 33
INDIANA 42 HALFTIME
May 24 8:00 PM
LOS ANGELES 19
INDIANA 19 END, 1ST QTR
May 24 7:31 PM
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