Tamika Catchings had been performing up to the standards she’s set during a stellar 14-year WNBA career before a dreadful night at Madison Square Garden.
Although her Indiana Fever teammates picked her up in an easy win, Catchings will be looking to bounce back Saturday night at home against the Washington Mystics.
Catchings, who has missed two games to injury and one to a suspension, came in averaging 17.0 points and 10.0 rebounds before shooting 0 for 10 while pulling down eight boards in Friday’s 80-63 win over the New York Liberty.
Article continues below ...
Her teammates shot a combined 27 for 56, including 10 of 16 from 3-point range. Maggie Lucas hit five 3s and scored a career-high 23 while Marissa Coleman added 16 points to help the Fever (3-4) win for the third time in four games.
Things were pretty easy from the start for Indiana, which jumped out to a 20-point lead in the first quarter and never trailed. New York closed to within 70-63 with 6:24 to play but the Fever put it away with a 10-0 run.
Indiana and Washington (3-2) split four regular-season meetings last year, with each team picking up both victories on the other’s home floor. The Mystics shot 46.7 percent in the two games at Bankers Life Fieldhouse while holding Indiana to 35.2.
Washington’s positive results in Indianapolis disappeared in the playoffs, however, as it dropped Game 1 of its first-round series there before being eliminated with a home loss in the following contest. The Fever, who kept the Mystics without a playoff series win since 2002, went on to lose to Chicago in the Eastern Conference finals.
Catchings led the way in that series with 48 points and 21 rebounds to surpass Lisa Leslie as the league’s all-time leader in playoff scoring and boards.
After a season high in points wasn’t enough for Washington in its last game, the team could get on track in Indiana given its recent regular-season success there.
The Mystics, who lost by two at Indiana in their preseason finale, dropped their second in three games with an 86-82 home loss to Tulsa on Friday. They posted their highest point total since July 25 when they also scored 82 in a win over the Shock.
The Mystics had a one-point lead with 45 seconds left after Tierra Ruffin-Pratt went made one of two foul shots, but Tulsa rallied from there with a jumper and three free throws to prevent them from tying Connecticut atop the East.
Emma Meesseman led Washington with 24 points and 10 rebounds and Stefanie Dolson had 11 points and nine boards, but the team went 4 of 20 from beyond the arc.
Prior to Tulsa’s offensive outburst, the Mystics had been allowing 68.8 points per game and 34.8 percent shooting.