The match up between the Indiana Fever and the Los Angeles Sparks would be one for the ages, as June 24th marked a special night for the Fever and their very own Tamika Catchings. For the first time in franchise history, the Indiana Fever honored Catchings for her outstanding 15-year career by retiring her No. 24 jersey at Banker’s Life Fieldhouse.
With all the excitement and emotions to come during the halftime ceremony, the Fever came out strong to start the first half behind forward, Candice Dupree. Dupree paced Indiana with 10 points in the first quarter and finished with 14 points, 2 rebounds, and 2 assists. Point guard, Briann January would return to the line up, this just her second game back after suffering an Achilles injury, tallying 7 points and 2 assists to end the first half. At halftime, the Fever down 40-46.
During the halftime ceremony, the crowd was electric as basketball fans shared Catchings’ special moment of her No. 24 jersey being lifted into the rafters. Catchings was escorted by her husband, Parnell Smith, as she was honored by fans and Fever President, Kelly Krauskopf. Unfortunately for the Fever, the Los Angeles Sparks spoiled the evening going on a commanding 19-0 run in the third quarter to open a 25 point lead. Although the Fever managed to end the third quarter on a 12-0 run, it wouldn’t be enough as the Fever fell to the Sparks 84-73. January and Shenise Johnson each finished with 13 points, and Erica Wheeler tallied 12 points, 2 rebounds, and 2 assists on the evening. This loss puts the Fever at 6-7 overall, with this being only their second home loss of the season.
The Sparks improve to 9-3 with their fifth straight win behind forward, Nneka Ogwumike’s 21 points, and 6 rebounds. Candace Parker finished with a double-double, tallying 18 points, 13 rebounds, and 7 assists. Guard, Chelsea Gray also added 17 points.
Catch the Fever’s next home game against the Connecticut Sun on Saturday, July 1st, at 4:00 p.m.