INDIANAPOLIS—The Indiana Fever used their familiar stringent defense to cool off the WNBA's top team.
Katie Douglas scored 15 points, and the Fever held Seattle to 37 percent shooting in a 72-65 victory on Thursday night that snapped the Storm's five-game win streak.
"The emphasis for us is to always establish and identify ourselves on the defensive end," Douglas said. "I don't think that really changes in any game."
Tamika Catchings had 12 points, and Tammy Sutton-Brown added nine points and seven rebounds for the Fever, who have won five of six. Indiana will host Eastern Conference-leading Atlanta (9-3) on Saturday.
"We're starting to get over that hump," Catchings said. "Obviously, this was going to be a big week for us playing Seattle and turning right around and playing Atlanta. I think we're in a good place right now."
Lauren Jackson had 17 points and nine rebounds, and Sue Bird added 15 points and five steals for Seattle, which owns the WNBA's best record. The Storm scored a season-low seven points in the second quarter and made just 3 of 12 shots.
"I think they challenged us physically and mentally," Seattle coach Brian Agler said. "We were inconsistent on our response. It was like a roller coaster."
Indiana's focus was to contain the Storm's duo of Jackson and Bird. Jackson shot 4-of-13, including 1-of-7 from 3-point range, while Bird made 6 of 12 shots.
"We did a really good job on Lauren and Sue," Catchings said. "They didn't get anything easy. I credit our defense on that."
The Fever scored the first six points of the fourth quarter to push their lead to 59-50. Following a Seattle free throw, Briann January made a 3-pointer to give Indiana its biggest lead -- 62-51 with seven minutes left.
The Storm scored the next six points to get within five, but the Fever answered with Sutton-Brown's two free throws, Douglas' layup and Catchings' free throw to regain the momentum.
"It was a great effort," Douglas said. "They are a great team; they are a dynamic team on both ends. They made some runs, but we had poise and we were able to sustain that. It was a really big home-court win."
The Fever took a 35-34 halftime lead after trailing by as many as 10 points. The third quarter featured 10 lead changes and four ties, and neither team led by more than three points.
"Tough game for us," Bird said. "What they did in tonight's game is their identity. We were out of character."
Catchings made all three of her free throws and has hit a franchise-record 33 straight.
"I started off the season bad shooting free throws, and I was really disappointed in myself," she said. "I take pride in shooting free throws, so I came back and have been in the gym shooting extra shots."