Sept. 3, 2004
Fever 69, Lynx 61
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Indiana handed the Lynx their second straight home loss with tonight's eight-point decision. In their previous Target Center appearance (July 30), the Lynx were dealt a 70-55 setback by Seattle to snap their six-game home winning streak. Minnesota falls to 10-5 at Target Center, missing an opportunity to match the franchise single-season record for home wins (11-6 in 2003). Despite the loss, however, the Lynx remain just 1.5 games behind second-place Seattle in the Western Conference playoff race.
The Fever improve to 2-0 in September, following up Wednesday's 75-58 win at Washington. Indiana had dropped its final six games heading into the Olympic break to tumble into the Eastern Conference basement, but is now tied for second with Connecticut. It's only the second time the Fever have won back-to-back road contests this year; the Washington victory stopped a seven-game road drought.
Minnesota suffers its first series sweep of 2004, as the Fever picked up a 58-56 victory on July 8 at Conseco Fieldhouse. Tonight's win was Indiana's first at Target Center since notching an 80-75 triumph on Aug. 6, 2000; Minnesota beat the Fever in both meetings a year ago. Indiana increases its lead to 5-3 in the all-time series, with all eight meetings being decided by 10 points or fewer.
The Lynx were held to 34.8% shooting, dropping them to 1-7 this year in games they've hit less than 35% from the floor. It's also Indiana's third-best defensive percentage in 2004. Meanwhile, the Fever finished at 43.1%, on the heels of Wednesday's 52.6% performance at Washington; they'd struggled at 34.4% during the six-game losing streak. Minnesota (40.1%) and Indiana (39.0%) rank 12th and 13th, respectively, in field-goal accuracy for the season.
Indiana outrebounded Minnesota 39-34, helped by a game-high 10 boards from Tamika Catchings and Kelly Schumacher's season-high nine rebounds. Catchings also netted 12 points, marking her fifth point/rebound double-double this season and the 28th of her WNBA career. The Fever have outboarded five of their last six opponents and 20 of 29 overall. On the other hand, Minnesota has come up short in four straight games (facing a -4.5 rpg deficit) after being outrebounded just once in its previous eight.
Minnesota forced 23 Fever turnovers, representing season highs for both the Lynx defense and Indiana offensively. Over the past five games, Minnesota is forcing an average of 18.0 TOs per night. They've swiped 10+ steals in three of those five (averaging 10.0 spg). Svetlana Abrosimova grabbed a season-high four steals tonight; she's averaging 2.20 spg in the last five, while Helen Darling (2.80), Teresa Edwards (1.40) and Tamika Williams (1.40) are also topping 1.00 spg in that stretch.
Nicole Ohlde was the Lynx' leading scorer with 13 points, her 17th double-figure effort of the season and fifth time she's paced Minnesota. Amanda Lassiter chipped in 11 points for the second straight game, helping the Lynx rack up a 24-17 advantage in bench scoring. In their last six outings, Minnesota's non-starters are providing 20.2 ppg; they added a season-high 30 points vs. Seattle on July 30.
A total of 13,560 tickets were sold for the contest, representing Minnesota's second-highest total of the season and the third-best in franchise history. The Lynx drew a club-record 16,227 for their July 14 matinee contest vs. Connecticut, and are averaging 11,672 in their last four Target Center appearances.