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Douglas scores 30 to lead Fever past Mercury

AP - Sports

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- Katie Douglas scored a season-high 30 points to help the Indiana Fever beat the Phoenix Mercury 89-83 on Sunday night.

Douglas shot 12 for 18 from the field and became just the 10th player in WNBA history to reach 5,000 career points. Tamika Catchings added 19 points and four steals for the Fever (19-9), who improved to 9-2 since the Olympic break.

''My teammates did a good job of finding me,'' Douglas said. ''I was trying tonight to get a little closer to the basket. I was trying to take it off the dribble a little bit more. I missed several layups at San Antonio (on Friday). So I was trying to do a better job of finishing tonight.''

The Fever made seven 3-pointers to give them a franchise-record 230 on the season - eclipsing their mark of 226 - with six games remaining. The WNBA record is 283.

DeWanna Bonner scored 23 points to lead Phoenix (7-21). Charde Houston had 14 points and Lynetta Kizer added 11.

''They're a great team,'' Bonner said. ''They came out aggressive. We made a run in the second half. Coming off a long road trip, still feel like we played well.''

Phoenix rookie point guard Samantha Prahalis did not dress because of a shoulder injury sustained on Wednesday at New York. Without her, the Mercury committed 23 turnovers.

The Fever were on pace to set a league record for fewest turnovers. Indiana had committed just three midway through the fourth quarter, but had three more the rest of the way. The league record was four and the team record was five.

Phoenix's Diana Taurasi played just 14 minutes and finished with eight points and three fouls. She has dealt with numerous health issues since playing overseas in the offseason, and she has played limited minutes since helping Team USA win the gold medal at the London Olympics. The Mercury also have been without Penny Taylor (torn left ACL) the entire season and Candice Dupree (left knee surgery) most of the season.

Phoenix jumped out to a 26-15 lead, but the Fever closed the quarter with a 12-0 run. A steal by Erlana Larkins in the closing seconds led to her scoring a putback to give Indiana a 27-26 lead.

Indiana continued to roll through the rest of the first half. At one point, the Mercury were shooting 60 percent from the field but trailing 49-41. Indiana eventually led 54-41 at halftime. The Fever forced 13 turnovers in the first half and committed just two. Indiana also outscored the Mercury 14-4 from the free-throw line.

''We started out focused, ready to roll tonight,'' Catchings said. ''They came out strong right from the beginning. But we know the game has highs and lows and we kept chipping away at the lead and finally got ahead of them. ... The one thing about us, we're always trying to figure out how to get better.''

Douglas broke into the 5,000-point club with a layup early in the third quarter. The Fever stretched their lead to 65-48 on a jumper by Douglas with 4:27 left in the period.

Phoenix made a final push, trimming Indiana's lead to single digits in the final minutes. Douglas answered several of Phoenix's buckets, scoring nine of her points in the fourth.

''We played extremely hard,'' Houston said. ''Kudos to Indiana. We broke down a little, but we were able to come back together and we stuck it out.''

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