INDIANAPOLIS – The third quarter in Banker’s life Fieldhouse Friday night belonged to the visiting Los Angeles Sparks, leading by as much as 30 points. The home team fought back in the final quarter but went on to lose 84-90, the team’s second loss at home this week.
In the fourth, Shenise Johnson and Stephanie Mavunga led the Fever on a 32-14 run. Johnson (11 points, 5 rebounds) and Mavunga (10 points, 5 rebounds) both came off the bench to compete with LA. Indiana cut the lead down but couldn’t come through.
Fever point guard Erica Wheeler shot 66.7% for 11 points, and her three assists lands her in 3rd place (471) for assists in franchise history.
“I applaud those players, we had the guts to bounce back,” Indiana head coach Pokey Chatman said to start her press conference. “Paris Kea (8 points, 2 assists, 2, rebounds) was not very good when she first went in the game. She has a reset, she gets some energy from a couple of teammates, she came out there and showed why she was drafted. A steady of diet of that is not something that is going to carry us, but it’s come confidence, it’s momentum for her and some trust in teammates and in herself.”
Sisters Nneka and Chiney Ogwumike stunted for the crowd in Indianapolis, Nneka led the game with 22 points, as well as 6 rebounds and 6 steals, while Chiney added 19 points with 9 rebounds. The two helped LA get ahead early in the game; Indiana trailed 17-23 after the first quarter.
LA was up 54-35 at halftime and would come back stronger in the third. Indiana struggled with turnovers while LA capitalized on them.
“First and foremost, I will credit LA … however, we aided in our demise,” Chatman stated. “Sub, call a timeout; sub, call a timeout; get some momentum.”
Indiana (6-11) has two more home games before going on the road. “It’s really hard for so many players with not a lot of experience to play together.”