STAR OF THE GAME
Briann January
January led the Fever in the scoring column, finishing with a team-high 16 points. She shot 6-of-12 from the field and dished four assists.
UNSUNG HERO
Erlana Larkins
In less than 26 minutes, Larkins scored 10 points and grabbed five rebounds. Four of her rebounds were offensive and she added two steals .
QUOTABLE
Lin Dunn
In General:
“This was a great game for the fans. We started slow against their defensive pressure. We missed too many easy shots. This was a good test for us. I’m disappointed we did not win but excited that we had the chance. At the end we ran a great play, but just missed the shot.”

Katie Douglas
On the last two seconds on offense
“Coach drew up a play. I thought we executed it well. I didn’t know exactly how they were going to defend it. I thought we got a good look. It didn’t honestly come down to the last shot. Give them credit. They were able to get a score. Whalen (Lindsay) had a great night. She got in there and made that basket. Put us back on our heels with 1.6 seconds to go. Give them credit they’re the defending champions.”

HIDDEN NUMBERS
Points in the paint:
Fever 40, Lynx 34
Second-chance points:

Fever 12, Lynx 7
Fast-break points:

Fever 10, Lynx 6
Points off turnovers:

Fever 20, Lynx 8
Starters scoring:

Fever 51, Lynx 47
Bench scoring:

Fever 13, Lynx 19
Fever's tough effort falls short against champs

Team Record 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
Minnesota 25-5 25 16 13 12 66
at Indiana 20-10 20 13 15 16 64

Gameday Spotlight: Can Fever Have 2 MVP Candidates?

By Tom Rietmann | September 14, 2012

INDIANAPOLIS -- The 3-pointers weren't connecting. Even some easy layups rimmed out. But the Indiana Fever persevered Friday night in a game it never led before falling 66-64 to the visiting Minnesota Lynx, the defending WNBA champions.

“I'm disappointed that we didn't win, but I'm thrilled that we had a chance to win on the last possession,” Fever Coach Lin Dunn said.

Indiana's Erlana Larkins, closely defended by Taj McWilliams-Franklin, missed from underneath as time expired at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

On the previous possession, Minnesota's Lindsay Whalen drove the lane, slid to her left and banked in a fadeaway jumper from 10 feet for the winning points.

“She's so strong,” Indiana's Katie Douglas said of Whalen. “You saw her strength on that play. She definitely exerted her strength. She wasn't going to be denied. She hit a tough shot. When you get her going left, that's what we wanted. But she hit a great shot.”

The victory lifted Minnesota to 25-5. The Lynx, who played without injured guard Seimone Augustus, have already clinched the Western Conference's top seed for the playoffs.

Indiana, losing for only the third time in 13 games since the Olympics break, fell to 20-10. The good news for the Fever players: They'll get another shot at the Lynx on Monday night at Minnesota. Then they'll play Wednesday at the Connecticut Sun, whom they hope to unseat for the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference.

The story line for Indiana on Friday night revolved around its shooting. The Fever hit 38.8 percent from the field (26-of-67) and only 11.1 percent from the 3-point line (2-of-18).

Only a few of Indiana's long-range attempts were open looks. The Lynx clearly wanted to make sure the WNBA's top 3-point club was contained.

Douglas, who had hit 33-of-66 treys in the previous 11 games, went 0-for-6. Tamika Catchings was 1-for-6. Each finished with 14 points.

“They did a great job of scouting us,” said Douglas, who was guarded closely by Maya Moore most of the night. “We're going to have to be prepared for that the rest of the way. Everybody is going to know each other's plays.”

Catchings played 37 1/2 minutes and led the game in rebounds (12) and floor burns. However, last season's league MVP said she hurried her attempts during on an overall 5-of-15 shooting performance.

“I think they did run out at us, at Katie and me both,” Catchings said about the Lynx defensive pressure at the 3-point arc. “(It led to) not being able to get our feet set and just rushing shots. Now we can look at the tape and we'll be ready for them when we get out there on Monday.”

Briann January led the Fever with 16 points. The Indiana point guard lamented an early 8-0 deficit that her team incurred.

“We have to come out stronger from the jump,” said January. “We can't dig ourselves a hole with these good teams. Everybody is playing for their lives. Everybody's looking to peak.”

The Lynx would eventually build a 10-point edge in the first half, but Indiana righted itself. Sound defense and strong ball-handling in the second half enabled the Fever to outscore the visitors 31-25, making for the rousing final seconds.

Moore topped Minnesota's scoring with 15. Whalen contributed 14 and Devereaux Peters 13.

“It really shouldn't have come down to a last-second shot,” January said. “There's a lot of things we could have done earlier in the game not to put ourselves in that situation.”

Postgame Notes:

  • Tonight’s loss ends the Fever’s home winning streak at six in a row, which tied the fifth longest streak in franchise history.
  • Her second rebound of the night was the 2,000th of Tammy Sutton-Brown’s career. She is the 15th player in league history to reach this milestone.
  • Tamika Catchings’s double-double tonight is the 80th of her career, third most in WNBA history.
  • Minnesota’s 66 points are the fewest scored by the opposition in a Fever loss this season.
  • Katie Douglas was 0-5 from 3-pt range tonight and this was just the third game in which she has failed to hit a 3-pt FG. Tonight’s game ends a 16-game streak in which Douglas had made at least one 3-pt FG.
  • The WNBA’s top two 3-pt shooting teams (on a percentage basis) in 2012 were a combined 4-30 (.133) from beyond the arc tonight.
  • With its victory tonight, Minnesota extends its winning streak at Bankers Life Fieldhouse to five in a row.
  • Indiana had just nine turnovers tonight and it has had 13 or fewer miscues in four straight games. In that span, the Fever has averaged 10.3 topg.
  • Erlana Larkins’s bench-high five boards featured four offensive rebounds, tying her most ever in the WNBA. In the last five games Larkins has averaged 6.6 rpg and 3.4 orpg.
  • Larkins added two steals tonight, her third straight game with two. For the season, Larkins is now fourth on the team with 27 thefts.
  • The Fever outscored its opponent in the paint for just the 11th time this season and the loss is Indiana’s fourth in those 11 games. The Fever’s 40 points in the paint are its second most this season, and most since it scored 42 in the paint at Connecticut, 6/19, also a loss.
  • Tonight’s loss is the Fever’s fourth in eight games this season decided by three points or less.
  • With the loss, the Fever drops to 2-3 in Friday games, its second day of the week with a losing record. Indiana is also 2-3 in Tuesday games.