SEATTLE (AP) - With former defensive player of the year Lauren Jackson looming over her and the game clock winding down, Indiana's Briann January drove baseline.
The Fever had trimmed a 13-point deficit to one over a nearly 4-minute span, and were about to put a common practice in motion.
January took a bump from Jackson and kicked a pass into the corner to wide-open Shavonte Zellous, who released a 3-point shot just before the clock expired, held her follow through and smiled as the ball fell through to give the Fever an unlikely 68-66 victory over the Seattle Storm on Thursday night.
``That's something we definitely practice, drive and drift,' January said. ``Someone drives baseline, someone slides to the baseline and spots up in the corner. It was either that or a reverse. It was uncontested, wide open.'
Tamika Catchings had 18 points and 11 rebounds to lead the Fever (13-8), who closed with a 15-0 run. January added 11 points and Zellous finished with 10.
``This is a great win for us,' Catchings said. ``We go on to Phoenix from here so it's not like we can get too high, but for tonight, for right now, being able to come out with a `W' is just huge for this team.'
Camille Little scored 15 points to lead Seattle (10-13), who were 0 for 5 from the field and committed four turnovers over the final 3:50. Sue Bird added 14 points, Shekinna Stricklen had 13 and Ewelina Kobryn 10.
``I think they stole one,' Bird said
The stunning loss spoiled Jackson's anticipated season debut with the Storm. The three-time MVP, who missed the first half of the season while training with the Australian national team for the Olympics, finished with four points on 1-for-4 shooting and had six rebounds in about 24 minutes.
Jackson looked rusty and appeared confused on how to run a set early in the game.
``I just didn't fit in,' Jackson said. ``It doesn't help the girls with a presence like mine coming in and not knowing the plays.'
Bird's jumper with 4:04 to go put Seattle up 66-63, but the Storm didn't score again. Stricklen missed on the next possession and Catchings started the final rally with a jumper with 3:38 left.
Indiana took advantage of two turnovers by Camille Little - one on a bad pass and another on an offensive foul - as Erin Phillips had a three-point play and Catchings made a 3 to pull Indiana within five about a minute later.
``We knew we were still chipping away,' Indiana coach Lin Dunn said. ``We had to get a couple stops and then score. We changed our offensive set and did a few different things down the stretch.'
Jessica Davenport made two baskets as Jackson committed two turnovers and missed a jumper to pull the Fever to 66-65 with 54.7 seconds left.
Bird missed a 3 with 40 seconds to go and Davenport blocked Tanisha Wright's jumper 22 seconds later, setting up the final play.
``We've got a team in there that's used to winning those games,' Seattle head coach Brian Agler said. ``We didn't. We've got to get to a point when we're put in those situations, either at home or on the road, that we're making the plays we've got to make.'
Jackson had a quiet start, making just one free throw in the first half. She hit her first field goal - a 3-pointer - to stretch Seattle's lead to 49-38 with just less than 2 minutes left in the third.
January opened the fourth quarter with a corner 3-pointer during which she was fouled by Wright. January completed the four-point play to pull Indiana within 51-46.
However, Svetlana Abrosimova had a driving layup and Wright found a wide-open Little under the hoop to bloat the lead back to 55-46 with 8 1/2 minutes to go.
Seattle fell behind 12-3 to open the game before scoring the next 16 points and taking its first lead on a 3 by Stricklen in the final second of the first quarter.
Stricklen's fastbreak layup capped the run and put the Storm ahead 19-12 with 8:46 left in the second quarter. Catchings' layup 30 seconds layup ended Indiana's scoring drought.
Sasha Goodlett's layup put the Fever up 22-21 with 4:07 to go in the half, but Little's two free throws in the final minute gave the Storm a 29-27 lead at the break.
The Associated Press News Service
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