INDIANA AT DREAM
Date: Sunday, September 30, 2012
Time: 4:00 p.m. ET
Site: Philips Arena (Atlanta, Ga.)
Radio: 93.1 WIBC
Webcast: Live on ESPN3.com
• Indiana travels to Atlanta to continue its Eastern Conference Semifinals series where the Fever will face elimination for the first time since the Dream ended Indiana’s season in 2011. The Fever and Dream tipoff Game 2 on ESPN2 at 4 p.m., Sunday.
• The Fever is 7-8 all-time in elimination games, including last year’s 83-67 loss which sent the Dream to the WNBA Finals for the second straight season. The Fever’s only road win in an elimination game was at Detroit in Game 2 of the East Semis in 2008.
• Two key statistics characterized Friday’s loss – rebounding and turnovers. The Dream manhandled Indiana on the boards, 40-29 after leading 18-5 on the boards early in the contest. The long and athletic Atlanta club also forced the Fever into 19 turnovers that produced 22 points.
• Overall, the Fever has lost three straight playoff games dating to 2011, all to Atlanta.
• Katie Douglas appeared in her 50th WNBA Playoff game on Friday, which extended her playoff career to a 10th consecutive season. No other WNBA player has ever appeared in the playoffs in as many consecutive years.
• Tamika Catchings notched a double-double for the 19th time in her 38 career playoff games, continuing a remarkable double-double trend in the playoffs.
• Atlanta has won eight of its last 10 games since firing coach and general manager Marynell Meadors and promoting assistant coach Fred Williams to the position.
• The Dream continued a string of now five straight series-opening wins in the East Semis & Finals dating to 2010. A lower-seeded playoff participant for the third straight year, the Dream has overcome its home-court disadvantage to reach the WNBA Finals the past two seasons.
• Indiana’s Bankers Life Fieldhouse crowd of 7,776 was the club’s largest conference semifinal home audience since its 2009 season. It was the club’s third largest home crowd ever in the conference semifinals.
Players To Watch
Fever – Briann January
January has been saddled with untimely injuries within the past two weeks – first sustaining a blow to the head at Minnesota on Sept. 18; and on Friday absorbing a blow to the midsection from Dream forward Angel McCoughtry. January missed the Fever’s final three regular season games last week due to concussion symptoms and missed the early stages of Friday’s second half while being observed by Indiana’s medical staff. She returned from last week’s absence to start Game 1 of this series and finish with 10 points. Her health, quickness and leadership at the point will be vital to Indiana’s chances in Game 2.
Dream – Angel McCoughtry
The WNBA leader in scoring and steals, the mercurial Atlanta star posted 16 points and nine steals in Game 1 of the series, with a pair of steals. All eyes typically follow McCoughtry, though she got big help from Sancho Lyttle and Lindsey Harding on Friday. Hardin finished with a game-high 23 points while Lyttle, with 12, also contributed nine rebounds and five steals. McCoughtry is the leader and constant scoring threat on one of the league’s most athletic teams.
Fever - F-Tamika Catchings, F- Shavonte Zellous, C-Tammy Sutton-Brown, G- Katie Douglas, G-Briann January
Dream – F- Angel McCoughtry, F- Sancho Lyttle, C- Erika de Souza, G- Armintie Price, G- Lindsey Harding
Fever vs. Dream, Game 1 - Lindsey Harding scores 23 points to lead the Atlanta Dream in a 75-66 win over the Indiana Fever in the Eastern Conference semifinals on Friday night. WNBA scoring leader Angel McCoughtry added 16 points and nine rebounds for Atlanta, which beat Indiana in three games in the East finals a year ago. Katie Douglas scored 13 points and Tamika Catchings had 10 points and 11 rebounds for the Fever. The Dream jumped out to a 25-15 lead in the first quarter and were up by nine at the break. Atlanta scored 11 points off 11 Indiana turnovers in the first half. Indiana went on a 13-0 run late in the fourth quarter to close the gap, but it wasn't enough. The Fever were the top 3-point shooting team during the regular season at 40 percent, went 3 for 13.
Indiana leads the all-time series 11-10 in regular season games, but the Dream holds a 3-1 edge in playoff encounters. Indiana lost its only playoff battle at Phillips Arena, Sept. 25 of last season, 94-77.