INDIANAPOLIS — Erlana Larkins scored a career-high 16 points to help the Indiana Fever defeat the Washington Mystics 84-66 on Thursday night.
Larkins also matched career highs with seven rebounds and three steals.
Tamika Catchings, fresh off winning her third gold medal for Team USA, had 14 points and 14 rebounds. The double-double was the 76th of her career, tied her with Lauren Jackson for third in WNBA history.
Katie Douglas added 11 points for the Fever (11-7), who returned from the Olympic break trailing Connecticut by four games in the Eastern Conference standings.
Monique Currie scored 12 points, Michelle Snow scored 11 and Jasmine Thomas added 10 for the Mystics (4-15), who remained in last place in the East.
Indiana outrebounded Washington 41-35 and had 20 assists on 29 field goals.
Indiana led 40-38 at halftime despite shooting just 34 percent from the field before the break. The Fever allowed Washington to shoot 47 percent in the first 20 minutes, but came out ahead by outscoring the Mystics 9-4 from the free-throw line. Catchings scored just two points on 2-for-7 shooting in the first half.
Currie's basket in close tied the score at 45 before Catchings hit a mid-range jumper to spark an 8-0 run that gave Indiana control. Jeanette Pohlen's 3-pointer in the closing seconds of the third quarter gave the Fever a 62-47 lead at the end of the period.
In the third quarter, the Fever held the Mystics to 2-for-13 shooting and outrebounded them 16-6. Catchings, who had done little on the offensive end in the first half, had six points and seven rebounds, including four offensive boards, in the third quarter. The Fever had eight offensive rebounds and 10 second-chance points in the period.
Washington tried to chip away, but the Fever maintained control. With Indiana leading by 10 points, Catchings hit Sasha Goodlett with a perfect pass near the free throw line, and Goodlett drained the jumper. On the next possession, Pohlen zipped a perfect pass to Shavonte Zellous for a fast-break layup that gave Indiana a 72-58 lead with just over six minutes to play.