WASHINGTON (AP) - Reserve guard Shavonte Zellous scored a season-high 21 points and the Indiana Fever held off the Washington Mystics 89-80 on Tuesday night.
Jessica Davenport and Briann January added 18 apiece to help the Fever (4-3) salvage the final contest of a three-game road trip that saw them criss-cross the country from Seattle to Phoenix to Washington in five days.
Zellous, who entered the game having scored just seven points the first six games, shot 7 for 9 from the field and helped make up for the absence of Fever leading scorer Katie Douglas.
``Coach (Lin Dunn) always says you never know when your opportunity is going to present itself and tonight was my opportunity,' Zellous said. ``Our team goal is to focus on our defense first so we can create our offense off our defense. I think I was able to do that as soon as I got into the game and I was able to knock down shots.'
The Fever reserves combined for 52 points as Indiana shot 55 percent from the field.
``Our bench was amazing tonight with Katie not playing,' the Fever's Tamika Catchings said. ``We had people that stepped up and they needed to step up.'
Crystal Langhorne scored 23 points and Matee Ajavon added 17 for Washington (1-5), which led by 11 in the first quarter before losing its fourth straight.
``When we came out in the first quarter, we executed well and got the shots that we wanted,' Mystics coach Trudi Lacey said. ``They turned up the heat - they're a veteran team, a team that's been deep in the playoffs. We mishandled some possessions, gave up some easy baskets.'
Leading by three at halftime, Indiana scored the first nine points of the second half and was up 14 after the break. The Mystics rallied but got no closer than three points.
``Every time they'd have a run we'd match it and then we'd pull back up again,' Dunn said. ``If you can do that on the road, that's a good sign for you, especially when you're tired.
The Fever made just three field goals in the first quarter and fell behind by 11. Sparked by Catchings and January, Indiana went on an 18-2 run to start the second quarter.
``I thought in the first quarter we started out like we'd just gotten off the plane,' Dunn said. ``We were sluggish. Then I thought we brought some energy people off the bench. I thought the players that got more minutes tonight because Katie was out really took advantage of it.'
Douglas, injured in Sunday's loss at Phoenix, could return to the lineup Saturday when the Fever host Connecticut.
Washington's Alana Beard has yet to play in the regular season due to a sprained left foot.
The Associated Press News Service
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