Indiana (11-11) at Phoenix (12-11)
Date: Wednesday, August 14
Time: 7:00 p.m. (PT) 10:00 p.m. (ET)
Site: US Airways Center (Phoenix, AZ)
Television - NBATV
Radio - The Fan 1070 AM/107.5 FM
Webcast - Live webcast and stats can be accessed via WNBA Live Access on FeverBasketball.com
Storylines & Promotions
• Indiana (11-11) ventures to Phoenix to battle the Mercury (12-11) for the final time in 2013. The Fever fell 82-67 to the Mercury on June 8, in a nationally televised game on ABC.
• Wednesday’s game begins a stretch of three games in four days on the West Coast. After a stretch of five games in 10 days to begin the second half of the season, Indiana will complete the West Coast stretch having played eight games in the first 17 days of August.
• Since the All-Star Break, Indiana is 3-2. The Fever has won three of its last four games and 10 of its past 14 since June 28.
• After opening the season 1-7, Indiana surged to the .500 mark for the first time since May, with nine wins in 12 games prior to last Thursday’s loss to the Sparks. The Fever returned to .500 with its win over Atlanta, retaining sole possession of third place in the Eastern Conference. Indiana enters Wednesday’s game just 1 ½ games behind the second-place Dream.
• A Fever win over the Mercury would be Indiana’s fourth in fifth games, its 11th in 15 games and its fifth in its last six road contests. A victory would even the season series with Phoenix.
• A loss would drop Indiana below .500 overall, and even its road mark at 5-5. A loss would mark the Mercury’s first season sweep of Indiana since 2007.
• Counting the absence of All-Star Shavonte Zellous, who missed Saturday’s game with Atlanta due to plantar fasciitis, the Fever has had nine different players miss action through 21 games. Zellous remains day-to-day.
• Shavonte Zellous (245) needs three free throws to pass Ebony Hoffman (247) in the No. 5 spot on the Indiana chart for career free throws.
• Eighty-one-and-a-half (81.5) games have been lost by Fever players this season, mostly due to injury, for an average of 3.88 players per game. Games missed – Jessica Davenport (22); Katie Douglas (20); Jeanette Pohlen (18); Erin Phillips (13); Tamika Catchings (3); Layshia Clarendon (3); Jessica Breland (2); Shavonte Zellous (1) and Briann January (0.5).
Fever: F - Tamika Catchings, C - Erlana Larkins, G - Karima Christmas, G - Shavonte Zellous, G - Briann January
Mercury: F - DeWanna Bonner, F - Candice Dupree, C - Brittney Griner, G - Briana Gilbreath, G - Diana Taurasi
With injured rookie star Brittney Griner sitting out against the Fever, Diana Taurasi stepped up and led the Phoenix Mercury to their first win of the season. Taurasi scored 15 of her 26 points in the second half and the short-handed Mercury beat the Indiana Fever 82-67 on June 8. DeWanna Bonner added 24 points and 11 rebounds for Phoenix. Taurasi routinely found the open spot on the floor, shooting 9 for 19 from the field and 4 for 11 on 3-pointers. Taurasi also had five assists and four rebounds. Shavonte Zellous had a season-high 29 points on 10-of-13 shooting for the Fever. Indiana was again without All-Star Katie Douglas (back) , Jessica Davenport (left leg), Erin Phillips (torn right meniscus) and Jeanette Pohlen (left ACL). The Fever reserves went a combined 4-of-13 for 11 points. Even more worrisome for Indiana was the Mercury's 42-30 edge on the glass.
Fever vs. Dream: Making her first start of the season, Erin Phillips set a career high with five 3-pointers to help the Fever defeat the Dream 80-66. Shavonte Zellous became the ninth different Fever player to miss a game due to injury this season. Tamika Catchings scored 21 points to lead the Fever, who bounced back from a loss to Los Angeles two days prior in which Indiana shot just 1 of 9 from 3-point range. The Fever needed little time to better that mark on Saturday, hitting 4 of 6 3-pointers in the first quarter. Indiana finished 8 of 14 on 3-pointers, tying a season high for made 3s. Phillips finished with 15 points. She was 5 of 9 from the field, 5 of 7 from beyond the arc. Karima Christmas added 15 points for the Fever, her seventh straight game in double digits, and Briann January scored 13 as Indiana shot a season-best 50 percent from the field. Erlana Larkins added eight points and 11 rebounds. Angel McCoughtry led the Dream with 17 points. Erika DeSouza added 13 points, Alex Bentley scored 11 and Jasmine Thomas added 10 points as Atlanta lost on the road for the sixth straight time.
Mercury vs. Shock: Diana Taurasi had 20 points and seven assists, and the Mercury shut out Tulsa over a 10-minute stretch of the first half to earn their second straight win over the Shock, a 77-56 victory on August 11 that gave interim coach Russ Pennell a second win in the three days since he took over. Candice Dupree added 20 points, seven rebounds and three assists for the Mercury. The Mercury earned just their third win in the last seven games. The Shock missed 15 straight shots during their scoreless stretch and Phoenix ran off 21 points in a row during that span to take control in the second quarter. Liz Cambage had 19 points and six rebounds for Tulsa, which has lost four of its last five games. Glory Johnson, the Shock's leading scorer at 16 points a game, was not with the team Sunday after hitting the floor on Friday's night game. The Mercury set a league mark with 12 blocked shots in the first half and held Tulsa to a franchise-low four points in the second quarter. Taurasi, the WNBA's leading scorer, became the sixth player in league history to score 6,000 points in her career, doing so in 291 games, the fastest ever. Rookie Skylar Diggins added 19 points, including three 3-pointers, for the Shock.
Indiana boasts a 16-8 series lead over the Mercury. Indiana’s loss on June 8 snapped a three-game win streak. The Fever swept the 2012 series with Phoenix, winning 85-72 on the road and later winning 89-83 in Indy. The Fever also captured a 91-86 home win in 2011 to split that season’s series. The Fever is 7-4 at USAirways Center in Phoenix, collecting an 85-72 win last season. The Fever has won four of its past five road meetings with the Mercury.