Mercury push WNBA Finals to deciding Game 5

STAR OF THE GAME
Tamika Catchings
Catchings was on a mission tonight from the tip-off. She had 16 of her 24 points in the first half. Catchings also added her third straight double-double with 12 rebounds.
UNSUNG HERO
Ebony Hoffman
With hurt shoulder in all, Hoffman scored 17 points and had eight rebounds. She was 7-for-10 from the field.
QUOTABLE
Lin Dunn
On the game:
“Phoenix shot the ball extremely well tonight. We had some moments when our defense broke down a little bit. But at the end of day when you're able to outrebound this team and able to get more points in the paint, more second-chance points but you don't shoot well like we did. It's going to be hard for us to win when Katie Douglas is 2-for-14, Briann is 1-for-9."

Ebony Hoffman
On the game:
“Take it with a grain of salt. They came out at the beginning and put it down our throats and we didn't retaliate."

HIDDEN NUMBERS
Points in the paint:
Fever 48, Mercury 36
Second-chance points:
Fever 14, Mercury 10
Fast-break points:
Fever 12, Mercury 9
Points off turnovers:
Fever 14, Mercury 20
Starters scoring:
Fever 64, Mercury 72
Bench scoring:
Fever 13, Mercury 18
GAME REPORT
Mercury 90, Fever 77
October 4, 2009 at Conseco Fieldhouse (Indianapolis, Ind.)
Box Score | Recap |

Team Record 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
Phoenix 2-2 33 16 23 18 90
at Indiana 2-2 22 25 18 12 77

INDIANAPOLIS -- Cappie Pondexter scored 22 points and the Phoenix Mercury beat the Indiana Fever 90-77 in Game 4 of the WNBA finals on Wednesday night to avoid elimination.

Penny Taylor added 17 points for the Mercury while Diana Taurasi and Tangela Smith each scored 16 to even the series 2-2 and force Game 5 Friday in Phoenix.

Tamika Catchings led Indiana with 24 points and 12 rebounds and Ebony Hoffman added 17 points. All-Star Katie Douglas, who was hoping to celebrate a clinching win in her hometown, scored seven points on 2-for-14 shooting.

The Fever had the homecourt, an active sellout crowd and local celebrities such as Indianapolis Colts players Peyton Manning and Reggie Wayne in attendance. It wasn't enough.

Phoenix shot 72 percent from the field in the first quarter to jump out to a 33-22 lead. The Fever held the Mercury to 16 points in the second quarter and cut their deficit to 49-47 at the half.

Indiana tied the score at 59 on a layup by Catchings with 4:30 left in the third quarter, but Phoenix went on a quick 6-0 run to force a timeout and put the fans, who had been standing in anticipation of a Fever lead, back in their seats. The Mercury extended their lead to 72-65 at the end of the third quarter.

Indiana trimmed its deficit to 72-68 on a steal and layup by Catchings, but the Fever went cold and the Mercury pulled away with a 12-2 spurt. A 3-pointer by Taylor made it 84-70 with 2:33 to go.


Game Notes

  • Phoenix is now 6-6 all-time in WNBA Finals games and 16-12 in WNBA Playoffs Games.
  • Tonight's sellout attendance was 18,165, which ties the fifth largest crowd at a WNBA Finals game.
  • When Tamika Catchings leads the team in scoring the Indiana Fever are 9-3, including 1-1 in the postseason.