WNBA

Fever-Liberty Preview

The Indiana Fever sputtered offensively to begin the season, but seem to be finding some consistency.

They seek a third win in four games Friday night when they visit the New York Liberty, who defeated them last week.

Indiana (2-4) lost its first three games but has been playing better more recently, winning 90-79 at Atlanta on Tuesday. The Fever, who had been averaging 73.8 points, scored their most this season despite being without Natasha Howard, Erlana Larkins and Shavonte Zellous due to injuries. Their statuses are unclear for this matchup.

Five players scored in double figures, including Marissa Coleman, who had a team-high 18, and Maggie Lucas, who matched a career high with 17. Tamika Catchings followed her 27-point, 13-rebound performance four days earlier against Phoenix with 11 points and 10 rebounds, and the Fever were 9 for 19 from 3-point range.

Natalie Achonwa, who leads all rookies with 11.2 points per game, added 12 points on 5-of-6 shooting.

The Fever are looking to avenge an 86-79 setback at New York on June 9. Tina Charles scored 21 while Essence Carson had 14 for the Liberty, who trailed by three at halftime but pulled away after outscoring Indiana 24-13 in the third quarter.

Catchings had 13 points and seven rebounds in her season debut after being sidelined with a knee injury suffered before training camp.

New York (3-2) fell to 2-1 at home in Sunday's 74-59 loss to Washington. The Liberty, led by 12 points apiece from Carson and Carolyn Swords, were done in by a late 15-2 run.

They were 1 for 8 from 3-point range and are shooting 22.8 percent from deep, the second-worst mark in the WNBA. Indiana has been much better from long distance, making 34.6 percent of its attempts.

The Liberty announced rookie forward Rebecca Allen is out for the season with a right knee cartilage injury. Allen played only two games, scoring six points in a June 5 win over Atlanta.

Indiana leads the all-time series, 35-22, though it's 15-15 in games at Madison Square Garden. The Fever are trying to avoid a third straight loss there after falling 73-61 Aug. 17.

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