On the verge of matching their longest winning streak of the season, the Los Angeles Sparks could have a hard time keeping things going as they visit Indiana.
The Sparks try to avoid a sixth consecutive road loss to the Fever as these teams play their final games before the Olympic break Thursday night.After winning all three games during its recently completed homestand, Los Angeles (14-6) extended its run to four Tuesday with a 90-71 victory at Phoenix. Candace Parker had 22 points, 14 rebounds, four assists and three blocks for the Sparks, who outrebounded the Mercury 55-43 and limited them to 31.3 percent shooting."It was a good team effort," said coach Carol Ross, whose team won five in a row May 26-June 13. "It's good for us to get a road win. ... We came off a three-game win streak at home and we wanted to see if we could extend that on the road, so it was good."Next up is a visit to Indiana, where the Sparks have been outscored by an average of 16.6 points during a five-game skid -- including a 98-63 loss July 31. Parker didn't play in that game and has missed the last three road matchups with the Fever (10-6).Indiana is coming off a pair of two-point victories at home, 88-86 over Chicago in overtime Saturday and 84-82 over New York on Tuesday. Tamika Catchings scored 23 points against the Liberty, including the game-winning free throws with 8.4 seconds to go.Indiana, which shot 52.5 percent, let a 12-point, third-quarter lead slip away and trailed by four with under three minutes remaining."We did a good job holding our composure down the stretch," said Catchings, averaging a team-high 17.6 points. "When you look at it there are things that you're happy about and things you aren't happy about. Just continuing our quest to be a good team. We made some great defensive stops."Winners of six of eight at home, the Fever have taken three of four overall -- with their only loss coming 88-72 to San Antonio on July 5. Indiana led by as many as 18 points in that game before getting outscored 60-29 in the second half."We have kind of been able to learn from San Antonio to sustain a team's run and maintain our own run and come up with crucial baskets at the end," said Katie Douglas, who scored 20 points Tuesday. "I'd much rather learn from a win than a loss."