INDIANAPOLIS (AP)—The Indiana Fever are finding ways to win, and it couldn’t come at a better time as the WNBA nears the All-Star break.
Fever coach Lin Dunn doesn’t just want to close out the four games in seven days before the break with some victories, she wants to win them all.
“The WNBA’s not a marathon like the NBA,” she said. “It’s a sprint. Every game is so important. There’s really no game that’s more important than another.”
Shavonte Zellous scored 16 points to lead the Fever to a 77-70 victory over the Washington Mystics on Friday night. The Fever moved into fourth place in the Eastern Conference, a game behind Washington. The Fever go to Washington on Sunday for a chance to move into third.
“But this is a team that we’re chasing, they’re right above us,” Dunn said. “But we’re chasing everybody.”
Zellous left with 1:28 left to play in the third quarter when she was kneed in the thigh, but later returned to create a spark that helped give the Fever an advantage.
The Fever went on an 8-0 run late in the game. Tamika Catchings, who had eight points and seven rebounds, scored to spark the spurt and Zellous scored two free throws and later a jumper before Larkins made two free throws with 3:03 to play to five the Fever a 68-66 lead.
Monique Currie tied the game again, but January hit a 3 and Zellous made a basket to jump Indiana ahead again.
“We needed this win because we play them again on Sunday,” Zellous said. “I think we did a great job of sticking together and coming back to get this win.”
Indiana had a 32-31 lead at halftime before the Mystics went on a 10-0 run to open the second half. Washington’s Crystal Langhorne made two free throws to give the Mystics the lead and Latta hit a 3-pointer. Michelle Snow scored on a jumper and later completed a one-and-one to give Washington a 41-32 lead with 7:39 left in the quarter.
“It was a shame to give up a good third quarter,” Washington coach Mike Thibault said. “The difference was in turnovers and rebounds.”
The Mystics had 21 turnovers, but was outrebounded by just two, 36-34.