Following Friday’s season opener at the Washington Mystics, the Indiana Fever begin the home portion of its 2022 regular season schedule with a Mother’s Day matinée as the LA Sparks come to Gainbridge Fieldhouse for the first of three meetings this season.
Indiana fell to the Washington Mystics, 84-70, on Friday night to tip-off the new campaign, but it wasn’t without important debuts from the Indiana Fever rookies. No. 2 overall pick, NaLyssa Smith, started her career with 13 points and 13 rebounds. Smith, along with Queen Egbo and Destanni Henderson, were all in the starting lineup in their first regular season appearance. Egbo tallied 10 points and six rebounds, while Henderson finished with a team-best five assists.
Fifth-year guard Kelsey Mitchell led the Fever with 18 points on 7-of-16 shooting. Mitchell extended her league-leading streak of consecutive games with at least 10 points to 24 straight dating back to 2021.
Off the bench, Victoria Vivians led all reserves with nine points and six rebounds. Her lone made 3-point field goal in the fourth quarter gave Vivians 100 made from beyond the arc for her career. In only 16:33 of action from Emily Engstler, the No. 4 overall pick in this year’s draft pulled down nine rebounds to go along with four points and two blocked shots. After being signed earlier in the day, Crystal Dangerfield played 18 minutes and finished with five points.
For LA, the Sparks opened its season with a 98-91 overtime win at the Chicago Sky on Friday night. Newly acquired Jordin Canada had 21 points and eight assists in her Los Angeles debut, while Nneka Ogwumike added 19 points.
Key offseason acquisition Liz Cambage added 12 points in 24 minutes for Los Angeles. Lexie Brown and Chennedy Carter also scored 12 points apiece.
Coming into Sunday, LA owns a 33-13 all-time record against the Fever.
The Fever open the home portion of the regular season slate at Gainbridge Fieldhouse on Sunday against the Los Angeles Sparks at 3 p.m. ET. Tickets for the game can still be purchased by visiting FeverBasketball.com.
Livestream: Indiana Fever Facebook Page
TV: Amazon Prime
Pat Boylan (play-by-play), Tully Bevilaqua (analyst)