|STAR OF THE GAME
With 3:06 left in the third quarter, Catchings took a hard hit to the face that kept her down on the court for a few minutes. But the hit could not keep her down the entire game. She had 22 points, nine rebounds, six steals and five assists.
January came in to score all 12 of her points in the second half helping lift the Fever to victory. The rookie played like a veteran, hitting two 3-pointers and adding three assists and three rebounds.
“The fans are super. I expect them all to be back tomorrow night plus an additional 4,000. We were fortunate to win this game despite our performance on the boards. This was a war and I expect the same tomorrow night. I am pleased that we shot in the 40’s and got to the free throw line. Tully (Bevilaqua) was struggling from the field so we brought in Briann (January). She shot the ball well and got to the free throw line. We feel no outside pressure. We just want to play the best basketball that we can. We made lots of adjustments personnel wise in the off season in order to get to the finals.”
“We have to stay focused for 40 minutes. We have to do a better job rebounding. We changed a couple of things. One we still need to fix is our rebounding. We started taking the ball inside-out. Tammy (Sutton-Brown) got good position and did a good job for us tonight. I can’t say enough about Briann. I enjoy being on the court with her. She plays with a lot of joy and heart and will be a premier guard in this league.”
Points in the paint:
Fever 36, Shock 32
Fever 8, Shock 22
Fever 7, Shock 16
Points off turnovers:
Fever 28, Mystics 9
Fever 57, Shock 47
Fever 22, Shock 28
INDIANAPOLIS -- Tamika Catchings scored 22 points, and the Indiana Fever avoided elimination with a 79-75 win over the Detroit Shock in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals on Friday night.
Catchings also had nine rebounds, six steals and five assists. Katie Douglas added 14 points and five steals for the Fever, who will host the decisive Game 3 against the defending champions on Saturday night. Detroit could eliminate the Fever from the playoffs for the fourth consecutive year.
Deanna Nolan led Detroit with 23 points and Shavonte Zellous added 19 points and nine rebounds.
Indiana set a postseason record with 18 steals and scored 28 points off Detroit's 24 turnovers. The defensive effort made up for Detroit's 48-37 rebounding edge.
Indiana led 39-38 at halftime. The Fever set a league playoff record for steals in a half with 12, and Catchings set a postseason record for steals in a half with five. The Shock made up for it by outrebounding the Fever 27-16 in the first half.
Catchings went down hard after a drive to the basket with 3:06 left in the third quarter and the Fever trailing 50-48. A fanbase that saw the 2007 season ruined when Catchings tore her right Achilles' tendon in the playoffs waited with an uneasy silence. She stayed down for a few minutes, but got up with an angry, determined look in her eyes. Indiana outscored Detroit 31-25 the rest of the way.
Detroit dominated the boards overall, but Indiana won the rebounding matchup 13-12 in the fourth quarter.
Indiana is now 2-1 in the first game of back-to-backs in 2009. Tonight's win and tomorrow's Game 3 make up Indiana's first back-to-back since they swept a pair of games from the New York Liberty, 6/26 and 6/27. The Fever's only loss in the first game of a back-to-back came in its first game of the season at Atlanta, 6/6.
The Fever set a WNBA record with 18 steals tonight, including a postseason career-high six from Tamika Catchings and five from Katie Douglas. The Fever tied league records with 12 steals in the first half and seven in the first period.
Catchings set a league postseason record with five steals in the first quarter.
The Shock had 24 turnovers, the most ever by a Fever opponent in a playoff game.
The Fever outscored a playoff opponent in the paint for the first time in 2009 with a 36-32 edge.
The Fever was outrebounded, 41-27, tonight and Indiana's five offensive rebounds tied its second fewest ever in a postseason contest. The Shock's Cheryl Ford and Shavonte Zellous each had as many offensive boards as the Fever.
In 2009 (reg. season and playoffs combined), Indiana has been outrebounded 22 times and won 10 of those games.
In just six and a half minutes tonight, Jessica Davenport had four points, two steals and two rebounds. Those were her first steals in a playoff game since having one for the NY Liberty, vs. Connecticut, 9/18/08. Four points is one short of her postseason career-best set in against the Shock, 9/29/08.