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Recap: Sun , Fever
Date: July 13, 2011 1:00 PM EDT
  

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Erin Phillips looks increasingly comfortable as the starting point guard for the Indiana Fever.

The Australian had 13 points, four assists and one turnover to help the Fever beat the Connecticut Sun 90-78 on Wednesday for their seventh consecutive victory.

Phillips became a starter after Briann January was sidelined by a season-ending knee injury. Since then, Phillips is averaging 11.3 points and shooting nearly 60 percent from the field. She also has 13 assists to seven turnovers.

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The most important stat is Indiana's 3-0 record since Phillips started running the show. She was a key reason the Fever committed a season-low nine turnovers against the Sun.

``I think Erin's doing a great job of reading the game and passing it ahead and being that floor general,' Fever guard Katie Douglas said.

Douglas scored 20 points, Jessica Davenport added 14 and Tamika Catchings had 13 points, seven assists and five rebounds for the Fever (10-3), who improved on the WNBA's best record. Six Indiana players scored in double figures for just the third time in franchise history.

``That's what makes this such a great team,' Catchings said. ``We have so many different weapons.'

Indiana made 11 3-pointers, with six Fever players hit at least one 3.

``Connecticut runs a similar defensive scheme as we do,' said Douglas, who had three 3-pointers. ``I guess you can look it as a good thing because we practice against it a lot. We were moving the ball well. Our shots were falling.'

Connecticut coach Mike Thibault felt his team didn't challenge the Fever.

``We played bad defense and they shot the ball great,' he said.

Connecticut also made 11 3-pointers, but the Suns attempted 24 shots from long range, compared to 17 for Indiana.

Tan White went 5 for 5 from 3-point range and finished with 17 points for Connecticut (6-5). Tina Charles had 15 points and 11 rebounds, but Renee Montgomery, the league's No. 5 scorer, was held to six points on 2-for-12 shooting.

Indiana led 32-18 at the end of the first quarter. The Fever went 4 for 5 from 3-point range and made 12 of 19 shots overall in the first 10 minutes.

Indiana stretched its lead to 53-30 at halftime.

``It was as good a first half as I have ever seen us play,' Indiana coach Lin Dunn said.

The Fever held Charles and Montgomery to combined 0-for-9 shooting before the break, but the early outburst created a bit of a challenge.

``I thought we played a really, really fine first half,' Dunn said. ``I was little concerned with the big lead and that we might relax a little bit and it looked like we started the third quarter assuming the game was over. They're not going to lay down and die. They're going to fight with everything they have and we expected them to make a run.'

Connecticut made a push late in the third quarter and cut the deficit to 16 before Indiana closed the quarter on a 5-0 run. The Sun cut Indiana's lead to 10 on a 3-pointer by White with 2:47 to play, but Douglas hit a baseline jumper as the shot clock expired with 1:14 left.

``For the most part, the first half we lacked pressure on the ball,' White said. ``And in the second half our shots seemed to be falling a lot better as we tried to pick up our defensive pressure.'

The poor second half showed the Fever weaknesses they will have to fix if they want to contend for a championship.

``You've seen glimpses of how good the team can be, and if we can put it together for 40 minutes, we can be an extraordinary team and a championship team,' Catchings said. ``We're not to that point yet.'

--

Cliff Brunt can be reached at www.twitter.com/cliffbruntap

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