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By Philip Rossman-Reich
Lynx Writer

Scouting Report - Lynx (11-11) vs. Fever (17-5) 7 PM

When Minnesota traveled to Indiana for the second game of a season-opening back-to-back, it was unclear where both teams would end up. The Lynx were streaking at 2-0 after the victory and the Fever fell to 0-2. Since then, though, Indiana has been the class of the WNBA. The Fever won 11 games after losing at home to the Lynx back on June 7 and have not looked back, opening a more than five-game lead over second place Sun in the Eastern Conference. Meanwhile, Minnesota continued its fast start, but has since fallen back to .500 after losing six of their last eight games.

There may not be much Minnesota can take from its early-season win against Indiana. The Lynx got 19 points from Seimone Augustus and 23 points from Charde Houston in that 96-74 win as they blitzed the Fever with a 34-19 first quarter outburst. Nicky Anosike had 17 points in the game as well. Katie Douglas and Yolanda Griffith led Indiana 16 and 17 points respectively. But the Fever will be without Griffith just like the Lynx will be without Augustus. WNBA MVP candidate Tamika Catchings was held to eight points on one of two shooting.

That was not a typical game for Catchings, to say the least. The seven-year pro from Tennessee is second on the team with 14.2 points per game and leads the team with 6.4 rebounds. She does a bit of everything 3.3 assists per game and 2.64 steals per game. Catchings rarely has an off night as she has scored more than 10 points in her last six games and has scored less than 15 in just one of those contests. She is given more than enough help by her point guard, Katie Douglas. Douglas leads the team with 17.8 points per game and has been one of the best scorers in the league.

She has played particularly well during Indiana's three-game road trip -- a trip that will end tonight in Minneapolis. Douglas scored 28 points and grabbed 10 rebounds in the Fever's win over the Mercury on Saturday. Indiana had its five-game winning streak snapped in Los Angeles on Monday. The Fever gave up a big lead early and they could not recover. Indiana has not lost consecutive games since the first pair of games of the season.

The Fever are a team that can win by scoring a lot of points -- they rank fourth behind the Lynx in averaging 77.2 points per game -- and a team that can win by playing defense -- they are second in the league in giving up 72.5 points per game. They have won games by scoring in the 80s and won games scoring in the low 60s. Indiana has truly separated itself from the rest of the Eastern Conference and is playing like one of the top teams in the league entering Thursday's game.

Keys To A Win For Minnesota:
--Establish a post presence
--Get out to a quick start
--Keep up your tempo
--Play with energy and desperation

Matchup To Watch:
Candice Wiggins vs. Katie Douglas

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