Los Angeles, CA, United States (4E Sports) – Kristi Toliver scored 28 points to lead the Los Angeles Sparks (18-7) to a 94-72 win over the Indiana Fever at the Staples Center Friday night.
She finished 11 for 15 from the field to head up a 63 percent shooting night by the Sparks.
Candace Parker added 18 points and Nneka Ogwumike contributed 16 points and seven rebounds.
The win, the Sparks’ sixth straight, pulled them even with Western Conference-leading Minnesota.
After a 2-all start with Toliver and Tamika Catchings exchanging baskets, the Sparks took control of the game and led all the way.
The Sparks ended the first quarter with a 28-17 lead, which extended to 30-17 early in the second, before Briann January arrested the onslaught with a 3-pointer to make it 30-20.
Guard Karima Christmas then completed an 11-5 run for the fever with a 3-pointer to make it 35-28, but the Sparks scored 10 of the next 15 points.
Ogwumike scored eight points in the final six minutes of the first half to help give L.A. a 49-37 lead at the break.
The Fever cut the deficit to seven points in the third but the Sparks doused the rally to up its lead to 72-56 at the end of the third.
The Sparks maintained a double-digit lead throughout the fourth, with Toliver sinking a 3-pointer with 6:16 remaining to push the lead to 79-64 .
Farhiya Abdi’s jumper at the game’s end gave the Sparks its largest lead at 22 points.
“We kind of understand the pace that we want to play offensively, and defensively we’ve just gotten tougher and have been taking things personally — gang rebounding,” Toliver said.
The 49 points by the Sparks were the most allowed in the first half and the 94 points were the most allowed in a game this season by the Fever, which entered the Sparks contest ranked first in the WNBA at 68.3 points per game allowed.
Erin Phillips reached 1,000th career point in the second quarter enroute to leading the Fever (11-13), along with Tamika Catchings, with 16 points each.
The Fever played a third straight game without Shavonte Zellous because of plantar fasciitis and lost Christmas to a left hip injury late in the third.