INDIANAPOLIS – Chelsea Gray scored a career-high 30 points on a record-setting night to help the Sparks overcome a 13-point deficit and earn a hard-fought 87-83 win in Indiana. Down by nine at the half, Gray scored 20 points in the third quarter and sunk five 3-pointers in the period, setting franchise records for 3’s and points in a quarter. The offensive explosion tied her for the most 3’s in a quarter in WNBA history and the second most points in a quarter in WNBA history. Gray finished the night with seven 3-pointers, tied for the most in Sparks franchise history.
Candace Parker scored the first basket for the Sparks, but the team came out cold, trailing 7-4 with 5:29 left in the first quarter, until Chelsea Gray tied the game with a 3-pointer. But the Sparks continued to struggle from the field and Chiney Ogwumike picked up three quick fouls as the Fever built a 17-9 lead. Sydney Wiese came off the bench and provided five points including a 3-pointer to help the Sparks close to 20-16. The Fever shot 12 free throws to the Sparks zero in the opening period.
The Sparks first free throw attempt came with 7:07 left in the second quarter on a three-point play by Kalani Brown that cut the Fever lead to 27-23 (Indiana shot 16 free throws before the Sparks first attempt). But Kelsey Mitchell went on a personal 5-0 run followed by a Teaira McCowan put-back to give Indiana their largest lead of the game, 34-23. The Sparks trailed by as many as 13, but a 3-pointer by Gray cut it to 38-32 Fever. Indiana took a 42-33 lead into the locker room. Candice Dupree led all scorers with 10 at the half.
Chelsea Gray opened the second half with a 3-pointer followed by a N. Ogwumike layup to cut it to 42-38. Gray added another triple to cut it to 44-43 Fever and force a timeout from Fever coach Pokey Chatman. The Sparks tied the game at 45-45, but N. Ogwumike had to head to the bench with four fouls. A Riquna Williams above the break triple cut the Fever lead to 56-55 as Indiana continued to score at the foul line. They’d finish the game with 36 free throw attempts to the Sparks nine, the largest differential since 2015.
Gray’s fourth 3-pointer of the quarter tied the game at 58, and the team took their first lead of the game on a 3-point play by Gray at 61-58. Gray’s rampage continued as she scored 20 third quarter points and hit five 3-pointers to give the Sparks a 66-62 lead going into the fourth. The Sparks scored a season-high 33 points in the quarter.
Williams started the fourth quarter on a personal 5-0 run to put the Sparks up 71-62. The Fever answered with a 9-4 run to cut the Sparks lead to 75-71. The Sparks responded with a 12-4 run capped with a Candace Parker layup assisted by Chelsea Gray to give them an 83-75 with 1:30 left. But the Fever did not give up as a 3-point play from McCowan cut it to five and a Kelsey Mitchell 3-pointer and two free throws cut it to 85-83 Sparks with 29.1 seconds remaining. But Gray iced the game with a midrange jumper, which gave her her career-high 30thpoint, and put the game out of reach.