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Mystics Re-Start With a Home Loss

Fever 75, Mystics 58

Associated Press
Thursday, September 2, 2004; Page D05

Indiana's Tamika Catchings gave her second Olympic performance within a week while the Washington Mystics continued to struggle without their own star forward.

Catchings returned from the Athens Games and notched 16 points, 7 assists and 6 rebounds to help the Fever snap a six-game losing streak with a 75-58 win over the Mystics last night at MCI Center.


Mystics' Tamicha Jackson battles Fever's Tamika Catchings, left, Kelly Miller. (Joel Richardson -- The Washington Post)

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The Mystics played without scoring-leader Chamique Holdsclaw, who was placed on the injured list Tuesday. She will miss two more games with an undisclosed health problem.

"We're just trying to find the right combinations," Washington Coach Michael Adams said.

Natalie Williams added 16 points and 12 rebounds for the Fever.

Catchings started for the U.S. team in Saturday's gold-medal game, a 74-63 win over Australia. The 6-foot-1 forward looked fatigued but kept working both ends of the court over 34 minutes.

"The jet lag was there, I could feel it," Catchings said, with a laugh. "But I want to help this team. I'm excited about being back."

Kelly Schumacher added 16 points on 8-of-12 shooting and Kelly Miller scored 13 for the Fever, which went from first to worst in the Eastern Conference before the month-long Olympic break.

With the win, Indiana (13-15) is a half-game ahead of last-place Washington (12-15).

Chasity Melvin led Washington with a game-high 19 points while rookie Alana Beard added 12.

• STING 62, SUN 55: Multi-gold medalist Dawn Staley scored 12 points and recorded her 1,000th career assist as Charlotte won at home.

Staley made seven assists just four days after winning her third consecutive gold for the U.S. Olympic team. Allison Feaster added 11 points for the Sting (13-13).

• MERCURY 63, SHOCK 58: Anna DeForge and Plennete Pierson each scored 16 points to lift Phoenix to the road win.

• LYNX 72, COMETS 64: Nicole Ohlde scored 16 points and Helen Darling added 14 for Minnesota in Houston.

• MONARCHS 73, STORM 65: Olympian Yolanda Griffith scored 18 points and Tangela Smith 14 to pace a balanced attack in Seattle.

• SPARKS 77, SILVER STARS 69: Lisa Leslie had 27 points and 13 rebounds as Los Angeles won at home.


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