Lynx Top Fever, But Lose Augustus

Minnesota 86, Indiana 76 (F)

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- Minnesota star Seimone Augustus left the Lynx's 86-76 victory over the Indiana Fever after suffering a head injury in the first quarter Tuesday night.

Augustus was hurt when she fell midway through the period after going up for a rebound and left the game in a wheelchair and wearing a neck brace.

The 2008 Olympian immediately grabbed the back of her neck and winced in pain while being attended to by Minnesota's training staff. She remained on her back for more than 5 minutes before sitting up to have the neck brace applied. Augustus was moving her legs while on the floor.

Augustus, who was third in the league in scoring averaging 19.6 points, was seen exiting the Target Center shortly before halftime, walking gingerly on her own with the neck brace still on. She went to a local hospital, where the team said a CT scan was negative.

Minnesota also lost 2008 first-round pick Candice Wiggins to a sprained right knee.

"Quite frankly, we may end up playing without both of them the last two games, that's my concern,'' Lynx coach Don Zierden said. "But that will give other players a chance to play.''

Zierden was upset that a foul wasn't called on Fever forward Tamika Catchings, who he thought pulled Augustus down.

"I just tried to encourage her,'' said Catchings, who was one of Augustus' teammates on this year's U.S. Olympic team. "I told her she'd be all right. Nobody wants to see anybody get hurt.''

Rookie Charde Houston made up for the injured Augustus, scoring 11 first-half points after the injury and leading the Lynx with 18 points. Vanessa Hayden-Johnson and Anna DeForge chipped in 13 points each and Nicky Anosike finished with 10.

Tan White led the Fever with a game-high 21 points in the loss, which solidified Indiana's spot as the No. 4 seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs. The Fever had a slim chance of catching the New York Liberty for the third spot, but needed to win their final three games while the Liberty had to lose their final three after falling to San Antonio earlier Tuesday.

Indiana was playing without leading scorer Katie Douglas, who sat out for precautionary reasons due to patella femoral syndrome in her right knee. She has been dealing with soreness in the knee since July 27.

"A lack of a player does not affect effort,'' Fever coach Lin Dunn said. "I was very disappointed in our effort in the first quarter, then we had to fight to get in the game. They played harder than we did. You would've thought they were playing for a playoff berth.''

Tammy Sutton-Brown scored 19 points and Ebony Hoffman added 10 for the Fever.

Indiana forward Tamika Catchings, playing with a torn tendon in her left ring finger, finished with 13 points, snapping her streak of four straight games with 20 or more points.

Minnesota led by as many as 19 points in the first half, but an 8-0 Fever run capped by Catchings' fast-break layup with 1:30 remaining in the game trimmed Minnesota's lead to six. The Lynx held off the surge by hitting all of their eight free throws in the final 1:16, finishing off their third victory in their last four home games.

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