8:00 PM ET, July 21, 2007
CHICAGO -- Jia Perkins scored 15 of her 17 points in the fourth quarter to lead the Chicago Sky to a 68-65 victory over the Indiana Fever on Saturday night, snapping a five-game losing streak.Dominique Canty added 12 points for Chicago (9-13), which pulled into a tie with Washington for fifth place in the Eastern Conference -- 1 1/2 games behind New York. Candice Dupree, Chasity Melvin and Armintie Price each had 11 points."I think maybe I was kind of rushing my shot in the first half," Perkins said of her play. "Then in the second half I just kind of let it come to me."Tamika Whitmore scored a season-high 26 points for the Fever (16-6), who lost their second straight after a six-game winning streak and fell one game behind first-place Detroit in the East.Indiana was playing without All-Star forward Tamika Catchings, who suffered a partial tear of her left plantar fascia in Friday's 89-80 loss to Detroit. Catchings, who leads the Fever in points (16.8), rebounds (9.1), assists (4.6) and a league-high 3.15 steals, is expected to be out two to three weeks.With Catchings out, Indiana head coach Brian Winters is looking for other players to contribute."That's what we have to have," he said. "Not only [Whitmore] step up, we have to have other players to step up, too."Perkins' putback tied the score at 63 with 1:22 remaining. After Whitmore answered with a putback of her own, Perkins' 3 with 42.4 seconds left gave Chicago a 66-65 lead.Perkins missed a pair of free throws with 24.8 seconds to go, but got her own rebound and was fouled again a second later, this time making one to give the Sky a 67-65 lead.Whitmore missed an uncontested 3-pointer with 9.4 seconds remaining."I think the odds were with us," Chicago head coach Bo Overton said. "[Whitmore] had made so many early. I think it was time for her to miss one."Canty made a free throw with 8 seconds left to push the Sky's lead to three, and White drove down the court and lost the ball near the 3-point arc just before time expired.The Fever took their biggest lead of the game at 54-45 on Tammy Sutton-Brown's putback with 52 seconds left in the third quarter.Chicago then went on a 12-0 run, capped by three consecutive baskets by Perkins, to take a three-point lead on her 3-pointer with 6:00 left in the game. Jumpers from Perkins and Dupree gave the Sky a 61-59 lead with 2:41 left.Indiana answered with jumpers from Sutton-Brown and Sheri Sam to take a two point lead with 1:42 remaining to go.K.B. Sharp hit a 3 with 1.5 seconds remaining in the first half to give Indiana 36-32 lead at the break.The Fever shot 53.8 percent (14-of-26) in the first half, and Whitmore scored 16 points and hit all seven of her shots before halftime.
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