by Dylan St. Clair
INDIANAPOLIS- In the Indiana Fever’s three games this week returning from a four-game road trip, they dropped two, one against the Los Angeles Sparks on Wednesday and the other last night to the Atlanta Dream, 90-84. And what’s bad about those two losses is that they were to opponents that they had defeated just days before on their respective home turfs.
Friday it wasn’t a pretty loss, however one justifies a loss.
A “pretty” loss is when both teams play with all their effort, matching shot after shot and one team has to lose. That’s how games work, there has to be a loser.
Friday’s loss was filled with turnovers (34 total) and fouls (59 total), both of which Indiana found themselves on the losing end of (19 turnovers for 24 Dream points and 31 team fouls).
“We’re not taking care of the ball,” Shenise Johnson said about their turnovers. “Ball security was the first thing on the board. We knew that coming into this game and we didn’t get the job done tonight.”
But maybe above both of those miscues would be the Fever’s loss in the rebounding column. They’ve won games where they’ve lost the turnover situation, and the same result has come when the war of attrition has felt to be in the opponent’s favor.
The Fever were outrebounded for the first time in many weeks, 30-24, an area where they’ve dominated opponents night in and night out. But it wasn’t convincing, on the stat sheet nor the feeling in person. In the fourth quarter alone they allowed nine offensive rebounds, three in the final two minutes that prevented Indiana from being able to cut the three point deficient they faced before having to foul.
“Obviously we gave up a lot of offensive rebounds at crunch time,” Head Coach Stephanie White affirmed. “We just didn’t make the plays that we needed to make and they did.”
The Fever were led by Tamika Catchings with 24, Johnson with 19 and Layshia Clarendon, who played extended minutes after Briann January injured her knee early in the first, netted a career-high 17 points.