STAR OF THE GAME
Briann January
January led the team with 19 points, shooting 5-for-8 from the field including her 18th straight game with a 3-point basket. She added four assists and two steals on the night.
UNSUNG HERO
Tamika Catchings
Recording her 78th double-double of her career, Catchings finished the game with 17 points and a team-high 10 rebounds. She is now third in WNBA history for career double-doubles.
QUOTABLE
Lin Dunn
In General:
“Playing someone five times is tough. This was a real team effort."

Katie Douglas
In General
"They came out with a fast start. But I was just proud of the way that we were able to keep our composure and get back in the game.”

HIDDEN NUMBERS
Points in the paint:
Fever 32, Sky 24
Second-chance points:

Fever 16, Sky 9
Fast-break points:

Fever 10, Sky 2
Points off turnovers:

Fever 17, Sky 8
Starters scoring:

Fever 60, Sky 30
Bench scoring:

Fever 21, Sky 34
Fans help Fever clinch playoff berth

Team Record 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
Chicago 9-16 20 11 16 17 64
at Indiana 17-8 18 27 18 18 81

By Tom Rietmann | September 1, 2012

INDIANAPOLIS -- Once again, some full-throated rooting by the fans at Bankers Life Fieldhouse provided plenty of motivation.

Properly inspired, the Indiana Fever rallied from a woeful start Saturday night to string together impressive first-half runs of 18-2 and then 17-2 on the way to capturing an easy 81-64 triumph over the Chicago Sky.

It marked Indiana's fifth consecutive victory and seventh in eight games since the WNBA's Olympic break. It also represented a major milestone. The victory lifted Indiana's 2012 home record to 10-3, making the Fever the first WNBA team to win 10 or more home games in 11 consecutive seasons.

The constant in all 11 seasons? Thundering support from the Fever fans.

“Awesome,” forward Tamika Catchings said about the backing the Fever received Saturday from the 9,307 on hand. “Instead of getting quiet (during Indiana's slow start), they got louder. As a team, we feed off that.”

The Fever (17-8) clinched its eighth straight playoff berth, a streak that tops the Eastern Conference and ties a WNBA record. It will be Indiana's ninth postseason appearance in the franchise's 13-year history.

Indiana, in second place in the East, is shooting to catch conference-leading Connecticut (19-6) and gain the No. 1 playoff seed. With four of their last nine regular-season games at The Fieldhouse, the Fever players are looking for more earsplitting noise from their fans.

“The energy the crowd brings is tremendous,” Fever guard Biann January said. “I remember when we made it to the (WNBA Finals in 2009), I could barely hear myself think because our fans were so loud, so supportive and just kind of willing us to win.”

The Fever won against Chicago by overcoming a 1-of-11 shooting start and an early 10-point deficit. Indiana put away the visitors with contributions from nearly everyone on the roster.

January led Indiana with 19 points and four assists. Catchings collected 17 points and 10 rebounds for the 78th double-double of her career. Katie Douglas had 17 points and added five steals, which tied a career high and gave her a total of nine in the past two games.

Douglas also moved into fourth place in WNBA career steals but shrugged off the accomplishment.

“I would like to definitely add a (WNBA) championship to my resume,” she said. “That's my ultimate goal. Anything individually is not important. It's about this team and finding ways to win and competing for a championship.”

Indiana swept all five games from Chicago this season and has won 13 of the past 14 against the Sky. The home team appeared to be in trouble early in Saturday's game but gained momentum. Hitting 16 of its final 22 shots of the first half, Indiana held a 45-31 lead by the break and was never challenged again.

“I thought we took our defense up a notch or two, turned them over a couple of times and got some run-outs,” said Fever Coach Lin Dunn, whose team forced Chicago into 21 turnovers. “We just kind of established our will the rest of the game.”

Indiana, the leading 3-point team in the league, hit only 5-of-13 against the Sky. The Fever had to stage its first-half turnaround using other means. Douglas said it was a matter of poise.

“I think we just settled down,” Douglas said. “We called a timeout and talked about how they were playing us and made some adjustments. We kept our composure and made the adjustments and executed much better.”

Postgame Notes:

  • Tonight’s win is the Fever’s 10th at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in 2012 and it has won at least 10 home games in 11 consecutive seasons, setting a WNBA record. The previous longest streaks of winning 10 or more home games was 10 seasons in a row by the Sacramento Monarchs (1999-2008) and nine straight seasons by the New York Liberty (1997-2005).
  • Indiana has won four straight games at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, its only streak of two wins or more in a row at home.
  • With her career-high tying five thefts tonight Katie Douglas slipped past L.A.’s DeLisha Milton-Jones and Minnesota’s Taj McWilliams-Franklin for fourth place on the WNBA’s all-time career steals list with 579.
  • One off its season-high, the Fever had 13 steals and committed just nine turnovers. That is the fourth time this season, and second game in a row, in which the Fever has had more steals than turnovers.
  • With tonight’s win the Fever improved to 8-0 in Saturday games.
  • With 17 points and a game-high 10 rebounds, Tamika Catchings registered her sixth double-double of the season, and the 78th of her career—third on the WNBA’s all-time career list.
  • Catchings has now scored 10+ points in 13 straight games.
  • Playing nearly 24 minutes for an injured Sylvia Fowles, Chicago’s Carolyn Swords led the Sky bench with 13 points, one short of her most ever in the WNBA. Swords seven FTM and eight FTA were both her career-highs. Swords tied her career-high with a team-high eight rebounds tonight.
  • Leading the bench with her most points ever in a Fever uniform, Karima Christmas was 3-3 from 3-pt range for her nine points tonight. That is her most 3-pt field goals ever in the WNBA.
  • Hitting 1-3 from beyond the arc tonight, Briann January extended her streak of games with at least one 3-pt FG to 18 in a row.
  • Indiana held the Sky to just 24 points in the paint, the fifth Fever opponent to score less than 30 points in the paint in the last six games.
  • Katie Douglas’s one 3-pt FG tonight was her 60th of the season and she has hit 60 or more in four straight seasons, and in six of her last seven campaigns. In her career, Douglas has made 636 3-pt FG, fifth most in WNBA history.