Fever 71, Shock 60
TULSA, Okla. (AP)
Tamika Catchings keeps climbing the WNBA all-time scoring list and Indiana keeps improving in the Eastern Conference standings.
Catchings had 23 points and moved into fourth place in the WNBA's all-time scoring list while leading the Fever past the Tulsa Shock 71-60 on Thursday.
Shavonte Zellous added 19 points against her former team, and Karima Christmas added 11 for the defending champion Fever (8-9).
Catchings moved past Seattle's Lauren Jackson on the all-time list with 6,024 career points. The 13-year veteran also had a game-high nine rebounds. After starting the season with injuries and losing seven of eight games, the win was the seventh in the last nine games.
''When we were losing games, there was still a focus on getting better,'' Catchings said. ''That is starting to pay off and today was a good confidence-builder for us heading into the All-Star break.''
Liz Cambage led the Shock (6-14) with 13 points. Tulsa's lone All-Star Game selection, Glory Johnson, was bothered by foul trouble and finished with 11 points. Candace Wiggins scored eight points and Skylar Diggins, Riquna Williams and Tiffany Jackson-Jones each added seven.
Indiana sits in fourth place in the conference standings. It marked the third consecutive season that the Fever swept the regular-season series from Tulsa.
Tied at 17-all after the first quarter, Indiana turned up the defensive pressure. The Fever opened the second quarter with a 10-2 run and didn't allow Tulsa its first field goal until Wiggins banked in a 3-pointer with 4:52 left before halftime.
Jennifer Lacy's 3-pointer pulled the Shock within 38-34 at the break.
''This was our fourth game in seven days, but I thought our energy level was as high as theirs,'' said Indiana coach Lin Dunn. ''We attacked the rim and we didn't give them many open shots. When we shoot 46 percent from the field, we should win because of the defense that we play.''
Catchings and Zellous were part of a swarming Fever defense that forced 19 turnovers, which resulted in 24 points. Indiana snapped Tulsa's three-game winning streak.
''The big number for us today was the turnovers,'' said Tulsa coach Gary Kloppenburg. ''When they get that many points off that many turnovers, it's hard to overcome. Their defense is probably the best we've seen all season and they apply a lot of pressure. Our guards struggled against that.''