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Wings take a defensive stance to close out preaseason with a win

Kaela Davis led the Wings against the Fever Saturday with 14 points. Photo courtesy of Dallas Wings/NBAE Getty Images.

Dallas – The Dallas Wings concluded the preseason on a high note Saturday with a victory over the Indiana Fever, 80-75.

Rookie Kaela Davis came off the bench to lead the Wings with 14 points, while Skylar Diggins-Smith, in her first appearance this season, scored 13 and had five assists. Karima Christmas-Kelly added 10 points.

Tiffany Mitchell led the Fever with 15 points, while Candice Dupree put up 11.

The Wings had a strong third quarter to secure the lead with one minute to go, when Davis hit a reverse layup to put them up for good. Diggins-Smith said the team took a defensive stance and stepped their defensive game up.

“I thought it was a win by committee,” Diggins-Smith said. “We’ll have a lot of those types of wins, a total team effort where everyone will contribute. I was proud of our rookies.”

Dallas didn’t start off with that defensive intensity, as the Fever were in command in the first quarter and outscored them by 11. The visitors were up by nine at the half.

Indiana is a new franchise this year, playing their first season without perennial all-star Tamika Catchings and with new coach Pokey Chatman. The coach, who came from the Chicago Sky, said the Fever improved from their first preseason game, but wants the team to be more disciplined on defense.

“I just think we need to clean some things up defensively,” Chatman said. “We came out a little flat in the third quarter which is unacceptable.”

The focus for week two of camp was defense, and it showed in the game. The team also shared the ball and capitalized on those opportunities better after the recording a preseason record 19 assists last week. Tough decisions on cuts loom for Dallas coach Fred Williams and his staff.

“These rookies that we have are pro-ready and they have shown that in preseason play,” Williams said. “It’s going to be a difficult decision, but the right decision about the players we select for this team.”

The Wings will finalize their roster May 12. They begin the season on the road in Phoenix May 14.

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