Fever's bench accounts for 57 points in win over Sparks

INDIANAPOLIS -- Jessica Davenport scored 16 points as the Indiana reserves combined for a franchise-record 57 in the Fever's 98-63 victory over the Los Angeles Sparks on Sunday night.

Tangela Smith scored 15 points to lead the starters for the Eastern Conference-leading Fever (14-6), who won their fourth straight. The 98 points were a season high.

Shavonte Zellous scored 13 points, Jeanette Pohlen 10 and Shyra Ely and Shannon Bobbitt had nine each, all off the bench for the Fever, who have won eight of their last nine at home.

"We keep the energy flowing," said Zellous. "Even if we slip up, we stay together. We do what we have to do to win."

The WNBA record for bench players scoring in double figures in one game is four.

"Everybody had energy," said Davenport. "We're playing well as a unit right now. We have a balanced effort."

Former Fever player Ebony Hoffman scored 13 points to lead the Sparks (7-11). Rookie reserve Jantel Lavender added 12.

"I know how Indy plays, and I don't think our team was ready for it," Hoffman said. "It's hard to do well when their bench was great."

After starting slowly, the Fever used a 17-5 run over the last 4:32 of the first quarter to take a 27-15 lead. Davenport and Smith scored five points each.

Fever coach Lin Dunn flooded the floor with reserves in the second quarter, and they followed the starters' example, to extend Indiana's lead to 53-30 at halftime.

Ely, an Indianapolis native, scored seven points in the 21-9 run and the reserves totaled 29 points in the period.

"The key is, we have quality depth," Dunn said. "You want to have eight, nine, 10, 11 quality players who can play.

"Any time your bench players have 18 rebounds and 57 points, you're doing something good."

Neither Ely nor Bobbitt were in the WNBA last year. Bobbitt had been waived by Los Angeles.

It was all too much for Sparks coach Joe Bryant.

"Defensively, they took us out of everything," he said. "We couldn't make shots. They went down and scored."

The Fever starters shot 56 percent (10 of 18) in the first quarter and the reserves were 9 of 16 (56 percent) in the second period. Indiana finished at 52 percent (36 of 69) for the game.

The Sparks shot 36 percent (23 of 64) for the game.

Ely drove for a layup with 4:02 to play, giving the Fever a 93-52 lead, the largest in franchise history.