Indiana Fever (16-18, 2-1), Atlanta Dream (17-17, 3-1)
Date: Sunday, September 29
Time: 3:00 p.m. (ET)
Site: Bankers Life Fieldhouse (Indianapolis, Ind.)
Television - ESPN2
Radio - 93.1WIBC
Webcast - Live webcast and stats can be accessed via ESPN 3.
Storylines & Promotions
• Indiana (16-18, 2-0) hosts the Atlanta Dream (17-17, 2-1) in Game 2 of the 2013 Eastern Conference Finals. Atlanta owns a 1-0 lead in the best-of-three series following the Dream’s 84-79 win on Thursday at Philips Arena.
• Indiana faces elimination where it was 4-0 in similar games during its run to the WNBA championship last season. The Fever twice lost opening games last season, falling to Atlanta and Connecticut before advancing to the WNBA Finals.
• A Fever win over the Dream would represent the Fever’s fifth straight win in an elimination game and the franchise’s 27th win in WNBA Playoffs history. A victory would move Lin Dunn into a third-place tie with Mike Thibault among winningest coaches in postseason history. It would be Indiana’s 10th win in 13 playoff games, since a 103-88 playoff win at Atlanta last season.
• A loss would eliminate Indiana from the 2013 playoffs and send Atlanta to the WNBA Finals. Ironically, a Fever loss and elimination would fall almost two years to the day after Atlanta knocked the Fever out of the 2011 playoffs (Sept. 27), on the same court, in Game 3 of the East Finals. It is the last last time Indiana lost an elimination game.
• This is the third straight season the Dream and Fever have met in the playoffs – Indiana winning a conference semifinals matchup last season and the Dream capturing a conference finals series in 2011.
• The Eastern Conference representative in the WNBA Finals is guaranteed to be either Atlanta or Indiana for a fifth straight season. The Fever reached the Finals in 2009 and won the WNBA crown in 2012. The Dream represented the East in 2010 and 2011.
• Indiana has reached the conference finals in three consecutive years, and six of the past nine. Indiana continues its ninth consecutive playoff appearance, and 10th overall.
• The defending WNBA champion, Indiana is 9-3 in its last 12 playoff games – since Game 2 of last year’s East Semifinals at Philips Arena. Since that time, the Fever beat the Dream twice, knocked off the East’s top seed Connecticut (2-1), then dispatched Minnesota (3-1) in the WNBA Finals. The 2013 playoffs opened with a 2-0 sweep of Chicago.
• Tamika Catchings continues her assault on the WNBA’s list of career postseason leaders. Entering Sunday’s game, Catchings is the all-time leader in playoff double-doubles, defensive rebounds, steals and free throws. She is second in postseason rebounds and needs just 12 to eclipse Lisa Leslie as the all-time leader. She trails only Leslie and Deanna Nolan in points, needing just 67 to become the all-time WNBA Playoffs scoring champion.
Fever: F-Tamika Catchings, C- Erlana Larkins, G- Karima Christmas, G-Shavonte Zellous, G-Briann January
Dream: F-Angel McCoughtry, C-Erika de Souza, G- Armintie Herrington, G-Jasmine Thomas, G-Tiffany Hayes
(Sept. 26): The Indiana Fever faced their stiffest test of the postseason at Philips Arena and came up short, dropping Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals 84-79 to the Atlanta Dream. Tiffany Hayes led four Atlanta players in double figures with 23 points. Tamika Catchings led Indiana with 21. It was a back-and-forth game for much of the night, featuring 15 ties and 11 lead changes in the first three quarters. Atlanta took the lead for good on Angel McCoughtry's jumper with 1:40 left in the third, but Indiana remained within striking distance until the final seconds. Erlana Larkins had 15 points and 12 rebounds for the Fever, her third straight double-double. Going back to last year, Larkins has had double-digit rebounds in nine of her past 11 playoff games. Christmas had 15 points (on 16 shots) to go along with six rebounds and four assists.
Atlanta leads the regular season series with Indiana, 13-12, following an overtime win on Sept. 4. Atlanta won three of four meetings in 2013, while Indiana had three wins in five meetings last season. The Dream owns a 4-3 lead in three playoffs series, including its 1-0 lead in 2013. Indiana won 2 of 3 in 2012, the Dream took 2 of 3 in 2011.