|CO-STAR OF THE GAME
Leading the Fever with 30 points, 18 of which were in the second half, Catchings was vital to the win over Connecticut. She had a game-high 13 rebounds, six assists and one blocked shot.
|CO-STAR OF THE GAME
Half of Whitmore's 24 points for the Fever were from behind the 3-point line. She also contributed five rebounds and one assist to help the Fever defeat Connecticut.
Clutch rebounds and clutch shooting in 33 minutes, Sam shot six for seven from the floor including a pair of big 3-pointers and late rebounds.
“Well, I'm not sure where to start. We dug ourselves a huge hole. I can't say enough about my players. They dug down deep and had a lot of heart. People that saw this game on TV saw how good WNBA basketball can be. When we got down early, I told them we can't get it back all at once, keep pecking away. Home court is great and that is why you play all year to have it. It's less likely we could have done this on the road. Two of the three games in this series were tremendous. Connecticut didn't use a zone until the overtime. They knocked down some big threes and made them pay because of that.”
On making up ground in the fourth quarter:
“We had better transition team defense, never once did we say we're not going to win. Coach told us to peck away at the deficit.”
On Connecticut beating the Fever during regular season:
“In the regular season the glaring statistic was they out rebounded us in those games. We made it our mission to change that.”
Points in the paint:
Fever 28, Sun 28
Fever 14, Sun 8
Fever 12, Sun 10
Points off turnovers:
Fever 30, Sun 13
Fever 69, Sun 80
Fever 24, Sun 8
INDIANAPOLIS - Tamika Catchings had 30 points and 13 rebounds, and the Indiana Fever made the biggest comeback in WNBA playoff history to defeat the Connecticut Sun 93-88 in overtime and advance to the Eastern Conference finals.
The Fever overcame a 39-17, second-quarter deficit to win the series 2-1. The previous biggest deficit overcome was 21 points, by Minnesota in a 74-72 win on Aug. 28, 2003, against Los Angeles.
Katie Douglas led Connecticut with 27 points and Lindsay Whalen and Asjha Jones both added 21. The Sun won their first five games against the Fever this season, but lost the two that mattered most.
In overtime, Catchings hit a 3-pointer with 31 seconds left to give the Fever an 89-86 lead. Douglas missed a 3-pointer, and Indiana rebounded with 15.1 seconds left.
Tamika Whitmore made the first of two free throws with 14.4 seconds left to bump Indiana's lead to 90-86.
Nykesha Sales scored on a layup with 5 seconds left to cut the Fever's lead to 90-88.
Catchings was fouled on a dead ball and made the one shot. By rule, the Fever were given possession, and Catchings was fouled again. She made both free throws with four seconds left to seal the win for Indiana.
Connecticut led 64-48 in the fourth quarter when the Fever went on an 11-0 run, highlighted by five points from Sheri Sam, to cut their deficit to 64-59 with 6:40 to go.
Indiana chopped the lead to 66-64 on a 3-pointer by Whitmore with 3:05 left, then took the lead on a 3-point play by Whitmore with 2:30 to go.
Indiana took a 73-72 lead on two free throws by Catchings with 45.5 seconds left. Connecticut took possession, but Indiana tipped the ball out of bounds with 8 seconds left on the shot clock. Whalen shot an airball on a fadeaway mid-range jumper with the shot clock winding down, and Indiana rebounded with 21.5 seconds to go.
Catchings made two free throws with 20.3 seconds left to give Indiana a 75-72 lead.
Douglas missed a 3-pointer, but Connecticut got the loose ball, and Sales made a 3-pointer to tie the game at 75.
Douglas fouled Catchings as she brought the ball upcourt, and Catchings made two free throws with 5.8 seconds left to give the Fever a 77-75 lead.
Connecticut quickly moved the ball downcourt, and Douglas redeemed herself with a layup with 1.5 seconds left that forced overtime.
Tonight's overtime win represents the largest comeback in WNBA Playoff history. Indiana trailed by 22 points (39-17) with six minutes remaining in the second quarter. Tonight's comeback tops a 21-point comeback by the Minnesota Lynx vs. the L.A. Sparks in 2003 (8/23/03).
Including the regular season and playoffs, Indiana has now won three straight games at Conseco Fieldhouse, its longest winning streak at home since winning three in a row in mid-July.
The Fever's 93 points are a playoff club record and are one short of the most ever scored by the Fever in a WNBA game. Indiana had 94 points in a double-overtime win at Connecticut, 6/26/03.
The Fever's wins in the series with Connecticut represent its first consecutive wins against the Sun since the first two meetings of the 2003 regular season.
Tonight's Game 3 is just the second in Fever history and Indiana has won a playoff series for just the second time in its brief history.
Tamika Catchings' 30 points tonight are her most ever in a playoff game. Her 16 free throws and 17 attempts at the line are a Fever playoff record. Her 16 free throws made are the second most in WNBA playoff history. Sacramento's Yolanda Griffith made 18 free throws in a game in 2001 (8/19/2001).
Lindsay Whalen's team-high 10 rebounds are her postseason career-high.
Sheri Sam's 14 points tonight represent her most in the playoffs since scoring 17 points for the Miami Sol at New York, 8/19/01. Sam's two 3-pt FG tied her most ever in the postseason.
The Fever's two Tamika's (Whitmore and Catchings) and Sheri Sam combined to score 53 of the team's 61 points in the second half (including overtime). In the half those three combined to shoot 16-23 from the floor.
With 30 points and 13 rebounds, Tamika Catchings has tied the team record (reg. season or playoffs) for consecutive double-doubles with three in a row.
Indiana's 16 points in the overtime are its most ever in a playoff extra session.
For the third straight game, the Fever has had a playoff record 18 assists as a team.
2007 Game Report Archive