Los Angeles, CA – Oh so close but not close enough to get the win was the fate of the Indiana Fever tonight. The Los Angeles Sparks deny them of a win with a final score Sparks 94 Fever 88.
That final score is really no indication of how interesting this game was. The first quarter had the Fever running a little cold, only able to muster up 14 points and just about half of those points could be credited to Erlana Larkins in the paint. While the Sparks more or less had their way in the defensive rebound department. They came out moving ball around at will and finding the right shots.
By the second quarter it look like the Fever were ready to check out of the game altogether. The Sparks were shooting at 100% from the free-throw line and three point country to maintain a nice cushy 11 point lead. And it only got worse for the Fever by the third. The Sparks started really wearing them down in the paint and aggressively seizing those second chance points enough so to take the lead up to 18 points.
Erlana and Tamika Catchings for the Fever started clicking on all cylinders in the fourth. So much so that the Fever actually believed that they can pull off a come from behind victory. With a little elbow grease from Briann January, Erica Wheeler and Tiffany Mitchell the Fever were able to put up 28 points in a little less than 6 1/2 minutes to bring them within one point of tying the game.
In game closing minutes you might’ve thought that the Fever just might win after Candace Parker went to the line and missed both free throws in a hair raising fashion. But Essence Carson was far too hot in the last quarter for all that, sinking the prettiest three-pointer along with the pair of spot on free throws giving her a grand total of 8 points for the night. After that Parker put the nail in the coffin with a block shot converting it to a running layup And1 farewell free-throw, putting her at 20 points, 2 blocks, 5 assist and 3 rebounds for the night. While the second time Western Conference Player of the Week Nneka Ogwuike finished the game with 23 points, 2 blocks, 3 assists and 3 rebounds. Jantel Lavender earned the title of go getter of the night with her 7 rebounds and 15 points.
Once you factor in the contributions from Alana Beard and Kristi Toliver you can see why this Sparks squad has the best record in the WNBA. The 17-1 Sparks will host Washington Mystics on Sunday July 10th at 4pm.