LOS ANGELES – After trailing by only six points at halftime, the Indiana Fever (6-18) were defeated by the Los Angeles Sparks on Thursday afternoon, 81-68. Los Angeles extended its lead coming out of the locker room to as many as 16 points in the second half on the way to its second consecutive win.
Fever guard Erica Wheeler led Indiana in scoring, rebounds and assists against Los Angeles as she netted 17 points, eight rebounds and seven assists. Seven of her eight rebounds and six of her seven assists were earned in the first half alone.
All-Star center Aliyah Boston finished the matchup with 12 points on 6-of-10 shooting from the court. Her 12 points moved her into fourth place in the all-time franchise ranks for most points in a rookie season with 346 points through her first 24 career games. She now trails Kelsey Mitchell who is ranked third with 432 points.
Off the bench, Kristy Wallace contributed 13 points and shot 3-of-5 from beyond the arc. Rookie guard Grace Berger came off the bench and recorded 11 points, her second-highest offensive output of the season, on 5-of-7 shooting from the court. Berger totaled nine of her points in the second half while also dishing out three assists.
Fever guards Wheeler and Mitchell led Indiana’s scoring attack to open the game, as Wheeler netted six points to go along with four assists and Mitchell added five points on a perfect 2-of-2 shooting clip. Los Angeles was held to 36.4 percent (4-of-11) through the first five minutes of play, yet increased its offensive pace as it ended the quarter on a 15-6 scoring run. After a quarter of five lead changes, a last-second layup from Sparks guard Jordin Canada put Los Angeles up by four points to conclude the first quarter, 22-18.
After securing the lead with two minutes remaining in the first frame, the Sparks maintained its lead throughout the remainder of the half though did not lead by more than seven points at any time. Boston, who totaled ten points in the half, led Indiana’s scoring attack with six points on 3-of-3 shooting from the floor in the second frame alone. Though shooting an efficient 58.8 percent (10-of-17) from the floor in the second frame, Indiana went into the locker room trailing, 45-39.
Los Angeles held the lead for the entirety of the second half led by Nneka Ogwumike’s game-high 25 points. Ogwumike also recorded a game-high nine rebounds, three steals and two blocks. Canada followed Ogwumike as she shot 9-of-15 from the floor in her contribution of 21 points, while also dishing out a team-high seven assists. In addition, Layshia Clarendon added nine points and Jasmine Thomas recorded a season-high eight points.
The Fever return to Gainbridge Fieldhouse on Sunday at 4 p.m. ET to take on the Seattle Storm. Sunday’s game will be broadcast on the official Indiana Fever Facebook page and Prime Video.