Yes, Candace Parker was great tonight, almost netting a triple-double, but two words come to mind in why the Sparks snapped the Indiana Fever’s six-game winning streak: Ana Dabovic
Ana Dabovic hit a step-back jump shot with 6.1 seconds to go in the fourth quarter to give the Los Angeles Sparks an 81-79 victory over the Indiana Fever on Wednesday at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
The Sparks led 79-73 with less than a minute to play, but the Fever scored six unanswered points to the tie the game before Dabovic’s game winner. Fever guard Shavonte Zellous had an opportunity to the tie the game at the free-throw line with 1.9 seconds to play but she missed both tries.
The Fever (17-10) came out of the gate firing on all cylinders and brought the game to Los Angeles early. Seven different Indiana players scored in the first quarter as the Fever took a 25-21 lead over the Sparks after the opening period. Los Angeles managed to keep the game close behind the hot-shooting Kristi Toliver, who scored 11 first-quarter points on 3-of-3 shooting from three-point range.
Indiana led 43-39 going into halftime after shooting an efficient 51 percent from the field. Fever forward Lynetta Kizer led the way with a team-high 10 points on a perfect 5-of-5 shooting from the field early on. With a 26-12 advantage in points in the paint, Indiana showed they could score often on the Sparks’ much taller and bigger frontcourt.
Candace Parker struggled mightily in the first half, scoring just four points on 1-of-5 shooting from the field. Indiana’s game plan focused on double-teaming Parker as soon as she received a pass from her teammates.
Los Angeles (11-17) came alive in the third quarter, outscoring the Fever 23-18 to take a one-point lead into the final quarter. Parker thrived in the third period as she scored eight points to help her team claw back into the game. Going into the fourth quarter, Los Angeles led 62-61 despite only taking its first lead of the game with just two minutes left in the third quarter.
Parker, as only she could, managed to turn an awful shooting night into a near triple double. She finished with 15 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists. Dabovic added 18 points, nine of which came in the pivotal fourth quarter. Jantel Lavender added 17 points and six rebounds, while Toliver finished the night with 16 points.
Tamika Catchings became the first player in WNBA history to record 1,000 steals with a half-court swipe early in the third quarter. She also recorded her 95th career double-double with a 10 point, 10 rebound performance.
Shenise Johnson led the Fever in scoring with 16 points, while also adding four rebounds and two assists.
With the win, Los Angeles snapped Indiana’s six-game winning streak. The Sparks are now 8-2 in their last ten games.