Sparks 79, Fever 69
LOS ANGELES (AP)
Kristi Toliver scored 21 points to lead all five starters in double-digit scoring as the Los Angeles Sparks beat the Indiana Fever 79-69 Tuesday night for their seventh straight victory.
Candace Parker scored 15 points, DeLisha Milton-Jones and Nneka Ogwumike each had 12 and Alana Beard added 10 for the Sparks (17-6). Los Angeles is on its longest winning streak since an eight-game run June 7-25, 2006.
Katie Douglas led the Fever (12-8) with 22 points and Tamika Catchings added 16.
Douglas made a jumper to bring Indiana to 73-66 with 2:25 remaining. Parker scored on a turnaround out of a Los Angeles timeout but Catchings banked in a shot inside on the next possession.
Indiana pulled to 75-69 on a free throw and rebounded Beard's missed shot in the lane but turned it over on the trip down the court. Toliver scored on a layup for a 77-69 lead to put it out of reach with a pair of free throws with 16.1 seconds remaining.
Indiana was held to 34 percent shooting. Catchings had only eight points through three quarters before her spurt late in the fourth quarter and had only two rebounds.
The Sparks led by double digits from midway through the first quarter until the final minute of the third, when the Fever twice pulled to seven points down. Douglas made a pair of free throws and a 3-pointer on the next possession to finish an 11-point third quarter, and Sasha Goodlett scored a layup inside to bring Indiana to 62-55 at the end of the third.
The Sparks shot 58 percent from the field, including five 3-pointers, in the first half for a 41-28 lead. Toliver and Beard combined for four 3-pointers, including one by Beard just before halftime. The frontcourt of Catchings and Douglas went a combined 5 for 17 in the first half.
The Sparks dominated the first quarter with an 18-0 run after Briann January opened the scoring with a 3-pointer. Ogwumike finished an eight-point, four -rebound first quarter on a pretty ball fake and finger roll for a 20-6 lead.
Indiana missed 10 of its first 11 field goals and was stuck on three points until Douglas made a 3-pointer with 3:19 remaining in the first quarter.