Indiana (16-18, 0-0) vs. Chicago (24-10, 0-0)
Date: Friday, September 20
Time: 7:00 p.m. (ET) / 6:00 p.m. (CT)
Site: Allstate Arena (Rosemont, Ill.)
Television - NBATV
Radio - The Fan 107.5FM
Webcast - Live webcast and stats can be accessed via WNBA Live Access on FeverBasketball.com.
Storylines & Promotions
• Indiana (16-18, 0-0) visits the Chicago Sky (24-10, 0-0) in the opening game of the 2013 WNBA Playoffs presented by Boost Mobile. Indiana begins its ninth consecutive playoffs schedule, and 10th overall. For Chicago, in its eighth year of existence, Friday’s game is the first playoff game in Sky history.
• Indiana is the defending WNBA champion, having reached the pinnacle of women’s basketball last October after dispatching the previous champion, Minnesota, 3-to-1 in the WNBA Finals. No. 2 Indiana beat the East’s top seed, Connecticut (2-1), to reach the Finals. The Fever beat Atlanta in the East Semifinals (2-1).
• The Fever was the lower-seeded team in last year’s playoff wins over Connecticut and Minnesota. It marked the only times in Indiana’s lengthy playoff history that the Fever won series as a lower-seed. In fact, Indiana was 4-0 in elimination games last season, losing the opening game of both early series against Atlanta and Connecticut.
• Indiana opens the 2013 playoffs as a No. 4 seed in the East, facing the East’s top seed in the opening round for just the third time in its history. In 2002, Indiana fell to No. 1 seed New York, and in 2008, the Fever dropped an opening series to Detroit. Both series went three games.
• A Fever win over the Sky would represent the Fever’s ninth season with at least one playoff win. It would move Indiana past New York and Sacramento with the third-most playoff wins in league history. (Los Angeles-32; Tulsa/Detroit-30; Indiana 24, New York 24, Sacramento 24).
• Tamika Catchings and Katie Douglas continue their assault on the WNBA’s list of all-time playoff statistical leaders. Entering Friday’s game, Catchings and Douglas are the third- and fourth-leading scorers in playoff history. Catchings is the all-time leader in playoff steals and free throws. Douglas is the all-time leader in 3-point attempts. She is second in 3-pointers made and third in steals.
• Tamika Catchings (283) needs two free throw attempts to pass Lisa Leslie (284) with the most free throw attempts in WNBA Playoffs history.
• Katie Douglas (72) needs two steals to pass DeLisha Milton-Jones (73) in the No. 2 spot on the career playoffs chart for steals. Teammate Tamika Catchings is the leader in career playoffs steals.
• Tamika Catchings (792) needs eight points to become the third player in WNBA Playoffs history to score 800 career points. Lisa Leslie (908) and Deanna Nolan (867) are the current leaders.
• Tamika Catchings (435) needs eight rebounds to move past Taj McWilliams-Franklin (442) in the No. 2 spot on the WNBA Playoffs career rebounding list.
Fever: F-Tamika Catchings, C- Erlana Larkins, F- Katie Douglas, G-Shavonte Zellous, G-Briann January
Sky: F- Swin Cash, F- Elena Delle Donne, C- Sylvia Fowles, G- Epiphanny Prince, G- Courtney Vandersloot
(Sept. 6): Briann January scored a career-high 23 points, Erlana Larkins had 13 points and 12 rebounds and the Indiana Fever held off the Chicago Sky 82-77. Shavonte Zellous added 14 points, Karima Christmas had 11, and Tamika Catchings finished with 10 points and 10 rebounds. Larkins also had a career-best six assists. Sylvia Fowles scored 23 points for Chicago, which had its seven-game winning streak snapped to drop to 21-9. Epiphanny Prince added 19 points, and Elena Delle Donne had 14, and Swin Cash 13.
Fever vs Sun (Sept. 15): Iziane Castro Marques hit a pair of free throws with 1.9 seconds remaining in overtime to push the Connecticut Sun past the Indiana Fever, 82-80, to close the WNBA regular season for both teams. Both teams played with just seven players. Castro Marques led five Sun players in double figures, scoring 19. Bass had 16 points and 12 rebounds and Renee Montgomery also added 16 points. Kalana Greene scored 13 and Kelsey Griffin pitched in 10. The Fever, playing without ordinary starters Tamika Catchings, Briann January and Shavonte Zellous, got career-high scoring from Karima Christmas with 21 points. Katie Douglas had 14 and Layshia Clarendon had 10. Erlana Larkins and Jeanette Pohlen each contributed 12 points and nine rebounds.
Sky vs Lynx (Sept. 14): Maya Moore had 22 points and 11 rebounds and the Lynx beat the Chicago Sky 79-66 in the final regular-season game for both teams. Lindsay Whalen added 23 points and Seimone Augustus had 14 for the Lynx. Rebekkah Brunson grabbed 10 rebounds. Sylvia Fowles led Chicago with 17 points and 11 rebounds and Elena Delle Donne had 14 points.
Friday’s matchup is the first playoff meeting between the Sky and Fever. Overall, the clubs have met 33 times in the I-65 series. The Fever has won 27 of the past 33 games and is 12-4 against the Sky on the road. Indiana has won five straight games at Allstate Arena including a pair of decisions this season. The Fever has won nine of the past 10 meetings overall, and 16 of 18, including 5-0 marks in both 2010 and 2012.