INDIANA at PHOENIX

Date:Saturday, August 25, 2012 ET
Time:10:00 p.m. ET
Site: USAirways Center (Phoenix, Ariz.)
Radio: 1070 The Fan
Television: None
Radio:1070 The Fan
Webcast:Live on FeverBasketball.com

Storylines & Promotions

With its 68-66 win over the Seattle Storm on Thursday, the Indiana Fever has won three of four games since the start of the second half of the season. The Fever remains 3.0 games behind Connecticut in the Eastern Conference standings, but has solidified its hold on second place, now 2.5 games ahead of Atlanta and 4.5 games ahead of New York.

Saturday’s matchup is the first time the Fever has played the Phoenix Mercury this season. The Mercury will make a return to Bankers Life Fieldhouse on Sunday, Sept. 9.

This is the final game of the Fever’s three-game, five-day West Coast road trip. 

The Fever is 12-5 this season when scoring more than 70 points. The Mercury has allowed opponents an average of 86.7 points per game.

The Mercury has lost three straight coming off the Olympic break and is currently on a nine-game losing streak. Its last win came June 29 against Chicago.  Coming off of a 19-15 record in 2011 and losing to Minnesota in the Western Conference Finals, the Phoenix roster has been depleted by injuries and has recorded just four wins this season, second lowest only to Tulsa.

With 18 points and 11 rebounds against the Storm, Tamika Catchings recorded her 77th career double-double, passing Lauren Jackson for third-most in WNBA history.

Katie Douglas’ seven points against the Storm moved her past Sheryl Swoopes as the 11th leading scorer in WNBA history.

Players to Watch
Fever— Tamika Catchings
The three-time gold medal Olympian has had two double-doubles in four games since the Olympic break, including her 18-point, 11 rebound performance against the Storm on Thursday. In that game she shot 6-for-17 from the floor and 2-for-6 from behind the 3-point line. Catchings is averaging 17.8 points per game, almost eight rebounds per game and over three assists per game.

Mercury—DeWanna Bonner
The 6’4” guard/forward leads her team scoring an average of 20.2 points per game and grabbing over seven rebounds per game. In the Mercury’s last game against New York, Bonner finished the game with 34 points, seven rebounds and added two assists in over 34 minutes of play. The fourth-year player from Auburn has played more minutes than anyone this season in the WNBA and ranks first in free throws attempted and made.

Probable Starters
Fever - F-Tamika Catchings, F-Katie Douglas, C-Tammy Sutton-Brown, G-Shavonte Zellous, G-Briann January

Mercury - F- Nakia Sanford F- DeWanna Bonner C- Krystal Thomas G- Alexis Hornbuckle G- Samantha Prahalis

Last Games
Fever vs. Storm
Shavonte Zellous' buzzer-beating 3-pointer capped Indiana's closing 15-0 run and lifted the Fever to a 68-66 victory over the Seattle Storm on Thursday night. Tamika Catchings had 18 points and 11 rebounds to lead the Fever (13-8), who trailed by 13 with 4:04 to go. Briann January added 11 points and Zellous finished with 10. Camille Little scored 15 points to lead Seattle (10-13), who was 0 for 5 from the field and committed four turnovers over the final 3:50. Sue Bird added 14 points, Shekinna Stricklen had 13 and Ewelina Kobryn 10. The loss spoiled Lauren Jackson's anticipated season debut with the Storm. The three-time MVP, who missed the first half of the season while training with the Australian national team for the Olympics, finished with four points and six rebounds in about 24 minutes.

Mercury vs. Liberty
Cappie Pondexter scored 31 points to lead the New York Liberty to an 89-77 victory over Phoenix on Thursday night, handing the Mercury their ninth straight loss. Nicole Powell and Leilani Mitchell scored 13 points each, Plenette Pierson had 12 points and Kara Braxton added 12 points and nine rebounds to help the Liberty (9-13) win for the third time in four games since the league's month-long Olympic break. DeWanna Bonner scored 34 points for Phoenix (4-18), which continued to play without several of its injured regulars. Bonner shot 11 for 26 from the field, tying her career high for baskets made. Sammy Prahalis added 12 points, four rebounds and four assists, and Krystal Thomas added a career-high 14 rebounds for the Mercury, who played only eight players

Series
This will be the first of two meetings between the two teams this season. The Fever leads the overall series 14 to 7, and is 6-4 when playing at Phoenix. Indiana has won six of the last eight meetings, not including when the two played for the WNBA championship in 2009. The two teams split the two-game series last season, both winning at their respective arenas.