Shavonte Zellous’ buzzer-beating 3-pointer capped Indiana’s closing 15-0 run and lifted the Fever to a 68-66 victory over the Seattle Storm on Thursday at KeyArena.
The loss spoiled Lauren Jackson’s much-anticipated season debut with the Storm. The three-time MVP, who missed the first half of the WNBA season while training with the Australian national team for the London Olympics, finished with four points and six rebounds in about 24 minutes of playing time.
Camille Little scored 15 points to lead Seattle (10-13), which went 0 for 5 from the field and committed four turnovers over the final 3 minutes, 50 seconds. Sue Bird added 14 points, Shekinna Stricklen had 13, and Ewelina Kobryn scored 10.
Tamika Catchings had 18 points and 11 rebounds to lead the Fever (13-8), which trailed by 13 with 4:04 to go. Briann January added 11 points, and Zellous finished with 10.
On the winning play, January drove the baseline and kicked the ball out to Zellous, who was wide open in the corner. Zellous held her follow through and smiled as the ball was in the air and the buzzer sounded.
Bird’s jumper with more than 4 minutes to go put the Storm ahead 66-53. However Stricklen missed on the next possession, and Catchings started the final rally with a jumper with 3:38 to play.
Indiana took advantage of two turnovers by Little — one on a bad pass and another on an offensive foul — as Erin Phillips had a three-point play and Catchings made a 3 to cut the lead to five about a minute later.
Jessica Davenport made two baskets as Jackson committed two turnovers and missed a jumper to pull the Fever to 66-65 with 54.7 seconds left.
Bird missed a 3 with 40 seconds to go, and Davenport blocked Tanisha Wright’s jumper 22 seconds later, setting up the final play.
Jackson had a quiet start, making just one free throw in the first half. She hit her first field goal — a 3-pointer — to stretch Seattle’s lead to 49-38 with a little less than 2 minutes remaining in the third.
Seattle fell behind 12-3 to open the game before scoring the next 16 points and taking its first lead on a 3 by Stricklen in the final second of the first quarter.
The Storm next faces the New York Liberty at 6 p.m. Sunday at KeyArena.