Sports

Monarchs make it 7 victories in a row

SACRAMENTO -- Considering how well the Sacramento Monarchs are playing, the Olympic break might be coming at an inopportune time.

Rebekkah Brunson had 15 points and 10 rebounds for the Monarchs, who beat the Indiana Fever 70-62 Saturday night to match a franchise record with seven consecutive victories.

The Monarchs (15-11) go after the record today in Seattle, where they play their final game before the Olympic break.

Brunson recorded a second consecutive double-double. She has played well despite a painful right knee that could use the monthlong break all WNBA teams will have for the Olympics.

Brunson was active inside against Indiana, making 6 of 10 shots, collecting five offensive rebounds and blocking a shot.

"It (the knee) would have hurt a little bit more if we would have lost," Brunson said. "It could be helpful to our team to continue to play, but it will definitely be helpful for me to get some rest. But everyone in this locker room could use some rest right now."

One thing that has rarely taken a rest during the Monarchs' winning steak is their defense.

"We came out a little slow, but they took us out of our offense," said Indiana veteran Tamika Catchings, who shot 3 of 11 and scored eight points. "They made us miss shots, and we didn't take care of the ball (21 turnovers)."

Kara Lawson, the only Monarch who will play in the Olympics, scored 12 points. Nicole Powell and rookie Laura Harper scored 11 points each for Sacramento, which has won five in a row at Arco Arena and is 10-4 at home.

"We have always been a team that starts kind of slow but picks up steam midway," said Lawson, who had three 3-pointers. "Other teams, because they play less players, get into their rhythm earlier in the season. But other teams are tired this time of year, while we're still fresh. You can see that."

Katie Douglas made three 3-pointers and scored 23 points for the Fever (11-14), which has lost three in a row.

Indiana trailed 40-26 at intermission and by 17 early in the third quarter. Despite an unproductive second half offensively and scoring only 11 points in the final period, the Monarchs quieted the Fever in the fourth quarter to secure the win.

After Lawson's 3-pointer gave the Monarchs their biggest lead at 17 early in the third, the Fever responded with a 16-3 run, cutting the margin to 48-44. Indiana trailed 59-50 heading into the fourth.

It's been a productive two weeks for the Monarchs, who have moved from last place in the Western Conference to third behind Seattle and first-place San Antonio. The Monarchs' final eight games are against Western Conference teams.

COMETS 79, SKY 65, at Houston -- Tina Thompson scored 16 points and Roneeka Hodges 15 as Houston beat Chicago to complete a sweep of a five-game homestand.

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