By The Associated Press
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Tamika Catchings scored 22 points, and the Indiana Fever avoided elimination with a 79-75 win over the Detroit Shock in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals on Friday night.
Catchings also had nine rebounds, six steals and five assists. Katie Douglas added 14 points and five steals for the Fever, who will host the decisive Game 3 against the defending champions on Saturday night.
Deanna Nolan led Detroit with 23 points and Shavonte Zellous added 19 points and nine rebounds.
Indiana set a postseason record with 18 steals and scored 28 points off Detroit's 24 turnovers. Catchings went down hard after a drive to the basket with 3:06 left in the third quarter and the Fever trailing 50-48. She stayed down for a few minutes, but got up with an angry, determined look in her eyes. Indiana outscored Detroit 31-25 the rest of the way.
Sparks 87, Mercury 76
PHOENIX (AP) - Candace Parker had 24 points and 18 rebounds, Lisa Leslie scored 20 points, and the Los Angeles Sparks forced a deciding third game of the Western Conference finals.
Leslie and Parker combined for 31 first-half points as the third-seeded Sparks ran out to an early lead and had a 49-34 advantage by halftime. Phoenix pulled within nine in the second half after Leslie picked up her fifth foul with 6:23 left in the third.
The Mercury pulled to 75-67 with 3:59 left but got no closer.
Diana Taurasi had 25 points before fouling out in the final minute while fellow all-WNBA first-teamer Cappie Pondexter had 19.