Tamika Catchings made sure the Indiana Fever didn't have a chance to fall out of the WNBA playoff race in the final week of the season for a third straight year.
Catchings scored 23 points on 9-for-11 shooting, and added six rebounds and six assists to lead the Fever to a 67-57 victory over the Washington Mystics last night in Indianapolis.
"Tamika didn't force things tonight," Indiana Coach Brian Winters said. "She plays great games, even when she doesn't shoot. When she shoots, that's even a bonus."
Natalie Williams had 15 points and Kelly Miller 13 for the Fever (18-12), which set a franchise record for home wins in a season and moved one game ahead of the idle New York Liberty for second place and home-court advantage in the first round of the playoffs.
"Tamika Catchings proved she is one of the best," Mystics Coach Richie Adubato said. "She made the big, clutch plays."
DeLisha Milton-Jones and Chasity Melvin both scored 20 points for the Mystics (14-16), who lost their fourth straight game.
Melvin led all rebounders with 10 for the Mystics, and teammate Temeka Johnson had a game-high seven assists.
The loss dropped Washington, which has four games remaining, a half-game behind the Detroit Shock in the race for the fourth and final playoff spot in the East.
Indiana opened the game with a 7-0 run and never trailed, stretching its lead to 50-37 with 12 minutes 42 seconds to play.
* MONARCHS 64, SILVER STARS 57: Kara Lawson scored 17 points and Rebekkah Brunson added 16 points and 10 rebounds as host Sacramento clinched its first Western Conference title. Shannon Johnson had 14 points and 13 assists for San Antonio.
* COMETS 77, MERCURY 66: Tina Thompson scored a season-high 20 points and Sheryl Swoopes added 16 to lead Houston at home.
Dominique Canty added 14 points for the Comets (17-14), who are a half-game behind second-place Seattle in the West.
Phoenix' Shereka Wright was taken for X-rays after taking a charge in the first half. General Manager Seth Sulke said Wright may have suffered a concussion.
* STORM 76, LYNX 60: In Seattle, Lauren Jackson had 18 points and 11 rebounds to help Anne Donovan become the first female coach in the WNBA to reach 100 wins.
Donovan trails Houston's Van Chancellor (191), former Los Angeles coach Michael Cooper (119) and Washington's Richie Adubato (114) on the coaching wins list.
* SUN 84, STING 70: Lindsay Whalen scored a career-high 28 points and Taj McWilliams-Franklin added 24 points and 11 rebounds for Connecticut at home.