INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - A strong performance against the Washington Mystics has pushed the Indiana Fever a bit closer to the top of the Eastern Conference.
Katie Douglas scored 18 points to lead the Fever to an 83-68 victory over the Mystics on Tuesday night.
Tamika Catchings had 17 points, five rebounds and five assists for the Fever (14-8), who have won five of six since returning from the Olympic break and continue their race for the No. 1 spot in the East.
Reserve Noelle Quinn had 13 points and five rebounds for the Mystics (5-18), while Lindsay Wisdom-Hylton scored 10.
The Fever went on a 10-2 run in the third quarter and led by as many as 14 points in sending the Mystics to their fifth loss in the last six games.
The Fever took a 2-1 series lead on the Mystics this season. The teams meet for the final time Sept. 21.
``We came out much better in the second half,' Fever coach Lin Dunn said. ``We won the boards again. We are getting continued help from our bench. We are definitely benefiting from the Olympic break.'
Shavanta Zellous hit a 3-pointer to spark the run with 6:19 left in the third.
``It's all about our 11 players and each and every night somebody different provides the energy and spark for us,' Douglas said.
While Douglas led in scoring, Zellous, at times, was the spark on her 26th birthday. She had 13 points, including 3 of 4 from 3-point range.
The Fever pushed it to 56-44 midway in the third quarter when Catchings was fouled on a layup at the 4:41 mark.
Douglas scored on a layup to give the Fever a 58-44 lead, their largest of the game to that point.
``I thought we played hard and it was a physical game,' Mystics coach Trudi Lacey said. ``They made their run in the third quarter and we couldn't close it.'
Jessica Davenport made two free throws to give the Fever a five-point lead at the end of the first quarter and they went on to lead 43-37 at halftime.
``We started off well,' Quinn said. ``Gave up too many three-point shots. In the third quarter we fell on our Achilles heel and let too many three-point baskets be made today.'
Indiana made 10 3-pointers, reaching double figures in that category for the seventh time this season.
Veteran forward Iziane Castro Marques made her first appearance with Washington when she entered the game with 30 seconds left in the first quarter. The Mystics signed the free agent on Sunday. She had four points.
NOTES: With four assists, Douglas surpassed Nikki Teasley for 15th place on the all-time career assists list. ... Indiana's 53.6 percent shooting is the second-best shooting performance this season. ... Washington's 23 rebounds is the fewest by an Indiana opponent this season.
The Associated Press News Service
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