Game Preview: Fever vs Lynx 130711
Date: Thursday, July 11, 2013
Time: 12:00 p.m. ET
Site: Bankers Life Fieldhouse (Indianapolis, Ind.)
Television - None
Radio - None
Webcast - Live webcast and stats can be accessed via WNBA Live Access on FeverBasketball.com
Storylines & Promotions
• The Indiana Fever hosts the Minnesota Lynx in a rematch of the 2012 WNBA Finals series which the Fever captured last October, 3-1. It is Kids Day with a special tipoff at noon, as Indiana celebrates the birthday of its mascot, Freddy Fever.
• Indiana’s current three-game win streak matches Los Angeles with the longest active streak in the WNBA. The Lynx have won two straight knocking down Phoenix (5) and Atlanta (6) who previously had the longest streaks.
• Thursday’s game concludes a four-game homestand which is Indiana’s longest of the season. The Fever opened the four-game stretch with consecutive wins over Tulsa, Seattle and Connecticut to produce its longest win streak of the season. The last time the Fever won three straight games in the same homestand was in 2011 with consecutive wins over Phoenix, Seattle, Washington and Connecticut. That 2011 five-game homestand was ended with a loss to Minnesota on July 15.
• In a matchup of teams returning from the 2012 Finals, the Lynx and Fever have taken different paths to open the 2013 season. Minnesota remains atop the Western Conference, sporting a 9-3 record following Tuesday’s win over Atlanta. The Fever has been hit hard by injuries and currently is 4-7, fifth in the East and trying to keep pace for a second-half playoff chase.
• A Fever win against Minnesota would establish a four-game win streak, the club’s longest since late August of last year. A win could pull Indiana even within a half game of New York (6-7) in fourth place in the East standings. A loss would send Indiana to its eighth loss in 12 games.
• With starts in each of the Fever’s past six games, Karima Christmas is one player making the most of her current opportunity. The former Duke star who was acquired in a trade with Tulsa almost exactly one year ago (July 2, 2012) has scored 68 points with 28 rebounds during those six starts. At Atlanta, she recorded the first double-double with career highs of 16 points and 10 boards. She has posted at least nine points in all six starts, with double-figure scoring in the past four.
• Jessica Breland has earned a significant jump in playing time over the past six games, including her first career start in the WNBA during a loss at Atlanta. The 44 points she has amassed in the Fever’s last six games exceed the 20 points she recorded during her entire rookie campaign in 2011. Similarly, the 40 rebounds she has grabbed in the Fever’s past six games exceed the 14 rebounds she totaled during her rookie season in 2011. Her 10-point, 10-rebound performance against Seattle marked the first double-double of her career, with career highs in each category.
Fever: F - Tamika Catchings, C - Erlana Larkins, G - Karima Christma, G - Shavonte Zellous, G - Briann January
Sun: F - Maya Moore, F - Rebekkah Brunson, C - Janel McCarville, G - Monica Wright, G - Lindsay Whalen
Tamika Catchings scored 25 points to help the Indiana Fever win their first WNBA title with an 87-78 victory over the Minnesota Lynx in Game 4 of the WNBA Finals last October. Erin Phillips had 18 points and eight rebounds, while Shavonte Zellous and Briann January each had 15 points. Lindsay Whalen scored 22 points and Maya Moore added 16 points for the Lynx. Seimone Augustus, Minnesota's leading scorer in the playoffs, was held to eight points on 3-for-21 shooting.
Fever vs. Sun: Tamika Catchings had 22 points and six steals to help the Indiana Fever beat the Connecticut Sun 78-66 on Saturday night. Briann January had 14 points and seven rebounds, and Shavonte Zellous also scored 14 points for the injury-plagued Fever. The defending WNBA champions won their third straight game after dropping seven of eight to start the season. Tina Charles finished with 14 points. Kelsey Griffin and Allison Hightower both scored 17 points for the Sun.
Lynx vs Dream: Monica Wright, playing in the place of injured star Seimone Augustus, scored a season-high 22 points to help the Lynx rout the Atlanta Dream 94-72 on Tuesday night. Lindsay Whalen added 20 points for Minnesota (9-3), which never trailed and extended its home winning streak to 15 games. Angel McCoughtry scored 16 points to lead Atlanta (10-2), which was playing for the first time in July.
The Fever and Lynx are tied in a regular season series that hosts its 25th meeting on Thursday. The Fever beat Minnesota 3-1 in a WNBA Finals series last season, but the Lynx have won the past three regular season meetings, and 7 of 10, since Indiana won three straight between 2006 and 2007. The clubs are both deadlocked on each other’s home floors, each owning 6-6 records on their home court. Ironically, the Fever has lost five straight home games against Minnesota, last recording a victory at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in the season-opening game of 2007 (May 19), 83-64.