Sparks allow Fever go on rally in final minutes to fall short

Sparks forward Nneka Ogwumike drives on Indiana Fever guard Tiffany Mitchell.
Sparks forward Nneka Ogwumike drives on Indiana Fever guard Tiffany Mitchell during the first half in Indianapolis Tuesday.
(Michael Conroy / Associated Press)

Kelsey Mitchell scored 25 points, Teaira McCowan added 15 — including two free throws to cap the scoring with 15.3 seconds to play — and tied her career high with 19 rebounds and the Indiana Fever beat the L.A. Sparks 74-72 on Tuesday night.

Nneka Ogwumike made two free throws to give the Sparks a 72-64 lead with 3:05 left, but Indiana (6-19) closed the game on a 10-0 run. Mitchell hit a long jumper and, after McCowan made 3 of 4 from the free-throw line, a 3-pointer — her fourth of the game to make it 72-all with 1:19 remaining. The teams traded misses before Jessica Breland stole the ball from Ogwumike to set up McCowan’s go-ahead free throws.

Nia Coffey missed a potential winning 3-point shot but Brittney Sykes grabbed the offensive rebound and was fouled with 1.3 seconds to go. She missed both foul shots before she chased down the rebound of the second free throw but her baseline jumper at the buzzer was no good.


Tiffany Mitchell added 12 points for the Fever.

Ogwumike finished with 17 points and five assists. Lauren Cox scored a career-high 14 points on 6-of-7 shooting. Indiana had cut Cox, who the Fever drafted third last season. Coffey scored 13 for Los Angeles (10-17).

The Sparks, who won their first four games following the Olympic break, have lost four in a row.