Sunís Balance Tops Fever Duo
Saturdayís Indiana vs. Connecticut matchup had many potential storylines. There was the Connecticut and Indiana rivalry, the history between the two annual playoff contenders with common players. There was the angle with a pair of conference-leading opponents playing for their spot atop the Eastern standings. And finally, there was the question as to how the Feverís seemingly improved post players might deal with Sun star Tina Charles.
But come gameís end, the story that overshadowed them all was the performance of the dynamic duo of Tamika Catchings and Katie Douglas.
Despite an 89-81 loss to the Sun which knocked Indiana out of first place for the first time in 2012, the Fever all-star tandem combined for 54 of the Feverís 81 points.
Catchings took control of the game in the fourth quarter after her return from a bloodied lip, scoring 14 points in the period including, at one point, having a streak of five baskets in a row. She finished the game with 31 points shooting 6-of-9 from the 3-point line and also grabbed eight rebounds. The six 3-pointers matched a Fever single-game record already shared by her and Douglas. Her 31 points was a point shy of her career-high.
Douglas, meanwhile, finished the game with 23 points, three rebounds and three steals. She had 13 during a second-quarter run.
ďWe knew going in that it was going to be a tough game; a playoff kind of game,Ē said Douglas after the game while Catchings was receiving stitches to her lower lip.
The duoís performance was not enough to hold off the firepower of the Sun, who had seven players with 10 or more points, including double-double performance from the Sunís own duo - Charles and Asjha Jones. It was the fifth time in five games that the second-year star Charles has posted a double-double against Indiana, and the first time since 2009 that an opponent notched a pair of double-doubles in the same game.
Charles had only twelve points but added 14 rebounds. Jones had 12 of each. Kara Lawson paced Connecticut with 18 points, Mistie Mims also had 12, Renee Montgomery had 11 and Danielle McCray and White each scored 10.
In this game, the Sunís balance topped the Feverís duo.
ďI think we did a pretty good job on Tina [Charles] and Asjha [Jones], but they had a great supporting cast and we just didnít have enough,Ē Douglas said.
The Feverís three post players Ė Tammy Sutton-Brown, Jessica Davenport and Sasha Goodlett Ė combined for just six points and twelve rebounds between them. The Fever bench added only 14 points, a far cry from the 52 they had in their last home game against the New York Liberty.
The game saw 10 lead changes and had seven ties before the Sun took it in the end, in what was the first of five meetings between the Indiana Fever and the Connecticut Sun this season.