INDIANA AT MINNESOTA
Date: Sunday, October 14, 2012
Time: 8:00 p.m. ET
Site: Target Center (Minneapolis, Minn.)
Radio: 1070 The Fan
Webcast: Live on ESPN3.com
• The Indiana Fever will meet the defending WNBA champion and West top seed Minnesota Lynx in Game 1 of the best-of-five-game WNBA Finals. The Fever advanced to the WNBA Finals for second time in franchise history by defeating the Connecticut Sun 87-71 on Thursday night.
• Indiana battles the defending champion Lynx in the 2012 Finals, with each franchise making its second Finals appearance. Head-to-head, Minnesota beat the Fever twice (2-0) in 2012, in consecutive games exactly one month ago, Sept. 14 (66-64 in Indianapolis) and Sept. 17 (86-79 in Minneapolis). During the Lynx’ championship season of 2011, the two clubs split two games with each winning on each other’s home floor.
• Though the Lynx won both regular season bouts between the clubs, both were hotly contested. Minnesota won on Sept. 14 when Lindsay Whalen’s bank shot beat the Fever in the game’s closing seconds. Three days later, the Lynx erased a 14-point deficit to down Indiana at Target Center. Each team won on the others’ home floor in 2011.
• In both regular season games, the teams played without key players. Seimone Augustus missed the first game and the Fever’s Briann January and Shavonte Zellous both left the second game with head injuries.
• To reach the WNBA Finals, Indiana upended the Atlanta Dream in Games 2 and 3 of the East Semifinals after falling to the Dream on its home floor in Game 1. Similarly, the Fever lost Game 1 to the Connecticut Sun before rebounding to defeat the East’s top seed with wins in Games 2 and 3 of the East Finals. The Fever is just the fourth team in WNBA history to reach the WNBA Finals after twice recovering from 1-0 deficits in preliminary series (Detroit in 2007; Los Angeles in 2003; New York in 2002).
• By beating Connecticut, Indiana advanced in a playoff series for the first time in its history by winning on the road. It is the first playoff series in Fever history in which Indiana won without having home-court-advantage. Minnesota, earning the overall No. 1 seed owns home-court-advantage in the Finals. The first two games are in Minnesota before coming to Bankers Life Fieldhouse for Game 3 and a potential Game 4.
• The Fever shot 10-of-16 (.625) from the 3-point line in Thursday’s win to set a Fever playoff record for percentage. Indiana's 7 of 7 3FG shooting in the first half was the most 3FGs made in a half, in WNBA playoff history, without a miss. The team’s overall 54.2 field goal percentage was its second-best in franchise playoff history.
• Erin Phillips recorded a career playoff scoring high with 15 points.
• With 22 points and 13 rebounds, Tamika Catchings posted the 20th double-double of her illustrious playoff career, in her 43rd career playoff game.
• Fever All-Star Katie Douglas sustained a sprained left ankle in the opening minutes of Thursday’s win at Connecticut. Fortunately, x-rays were negative and she is listed as day-to-day for Games 1 and 2 of the Finals in Minnesota.
Players To Watch
Fever – Erin Phillips
Phillips has started the last four playoff games for the Fever after Indiana lost an opening series game to Atlanta. With Katie Douglas leaving the game on Thursday in the first quarter with an ankle injury, Phillips went on to score a career playoff high with 15 points. She shot 6-of-10 from the field and 3-of-4 from the 3-point line. She also added one rebound and four assists.
Lynx – Seimone Augustus
The starting guard for the Lynx is averaging just under 20 points per game and is shooting almost 50 percent from the field. In Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals, Augustus led Minnesota with21 points, shooting 8-of-12 from the field and 2-of-5 from behind the arc. She added one rebound, three assists and two steals.
Fever - F-Tamika Catchings, F- Shavonte Zellous, C-Erlana Larkins, G- Erin Phillips, G-Briann January
Lynx – F- Maya Moore, F- Rebekkah Brunson, C- Taj McWilliams-Franklin, G- Seimone Augustus, G- Lindsay WhalenLast Games
Fever vs. Sun - Tamika Catchings scored 22 points with 13 rebounds as the Indiana Fever recorded an 87-71 drubbing of the Connecticut Sun in the deciding Game 3 of the WNBA Eastern Conference Finals. Four other Fever players scored in double figures as Indiana moved to 4-0 in elimination games during this year's postseason and advanced to a meeting with the defending league champion Minnesota Lynx in the title round. Erin Phillips and Jeanette Pohlen netted 15 and 14 points, respectively, with Briann January adding 12 points and Shavonte Zellous contributing 11 off the bench in the win. 2012 WNBA MVP Tina Charles paced the Sun with 18 points and 10 rebounds, while Kara Lawson finished with 16 points for the Eastern Conference regular-season champs.
Lynx vs. Sparks - Seimone Augustus scored 21 points, Maya Moore netted 20 and the Minnesota Lynx held off the Los Angeles Sparks, 80-79, on Sunday. Lindsay Whalen added 17 points for the Lynx, who overcame a 10-point fourth- quarter deficit. Candace Parker tallied 33 points and 15 rebounds for Los Angeles.
Series Minnesota beat the Fever in both regular season games; Sept. 14 (66-64 in Indianapolis) and Sept. 17 (86-79 in Minneapolis). Overall the series is tied 12-12, with each team sporting a 6-6 record on its home floor. In fact, in Minnesota’s championship season of 2011, the Fever and Lynx each won on each other’s home floor. This will be the first meeting between the two teams in postseason play.