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Fever take care of Mystics, 'over' connects

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - The Indiana Fever are finding ways to win, and it couldn't come at a better time as the WNBA nears the All-Star break.

Fever coach Lin Dunn doesn't just want to close out the four games in seven days before the break with some victories, she wants to win them all.

``The WNBA's not a marathon like the NBA,'' she said. ``It's a sprint. Every game is so important. There's really no game that's more important than another.''

Shavonte Zellous scored 16 points to lead the Fever to a 77-70 victory over the Washington Mystics on Friday night. The Fever moved into fourth place in the Eastern Conference, a game behind Washington. The Fever go to Washington on Sunday for a chance to move into third.

``But this is a team that we're chasing, they're right above us,'' Dunn said. ``But we're chasing everybody.''

Briann January had 12 points and Erlana Larkins had 10 points and nine rebounds for the Fever (6-8), who have won five of the last six games.

Zellous left with 1:28 left to play in the third quarter when she was kneed in the thigh, but later returned to create a spark that helped give the Fever an advantage.

The Fever went on an 8-0 run late in the game. Tamika Catchings, who had eight points and seven rebounds, scored to spark the spurt and Zellous scored two free throws and later a jumper before Larkins made two free throws with 3:03 to play to five the Fever a 68-66 lead.

Monique Currie tied the game again, but January hit a 3 and Zellous made a basket to jump Indiana ahead again.

``We needed this win because we play them again on Sunday,'' Zellous said. ``I think we did a great job of sticking together and coming back to get this win.''

Ivory Latta had 16 points and Matee Ajavon and Kia Vaughn each had 10 for the Mystics (8-8), who lost for the first time in three games.

Indiana had a 32-31 lead at halftime before the Mystics went on a 10-0 run to open the second half. Washington's Crystal Langhorne made two free throws to give the Mystics the lead and Latta hit a 3-pointer. Michelle Snow scored on a jumper and later completed a one-and-one to give Washington a 41-32 lead with 7:39 left in the quarter.

``It was a shame to give up a good third quarter,'' Washington coach Mike Thibault said. ``The difference was in turnovers and rebounds.''

The Mystics had 21 turnovers, but was outrebounded by just two, 36-34.

The Associated Press News Service

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The Associated Press
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