INDIANA AT MINNESOTA
Date: Wednesday, October 17, 2012
Time: 8:00 p.m. ET
Site: Target Center (Minneapolis, Minn.)
Radio: 1070 The Fan
Webcast: Live on ESPN3.com
• The Indiana Fever took a 1-0 lead in the five-game WNBA championship series against the Minnesota Lynx on Monday with a 76-70 win at the Target Center. The Fever and Lynx battle in Game 2 of the WNBA Finals on Wednesday.
• The Minnesota loss was only the second for the Lynx at home this season, and their first home playoff loss in two years.
• The Fever placed four of its seven players in double-figure scoring in Game 1. Tamika Catchings led the team with 20 points, scoring 20 or more for her third straight game. Rebounding sensation Erlana Larkins matched a career scoring high of 16 points for the third time in the playoffs while adding a game-high 15 rebounds – the second-best figure in WNBA Finals history. Erin Phillips added 13 points and Briann January pitched in 11.
• Indiana led by as many as 10 points in the win, late in the first half and again during the fourth quarter. Twice staving off Minnesota rallies and allowing the Lynx a four-point advantage in the second half, Indiana’s defense shackled the Lynx into 12 consecutive missed shots midway through the fourth quarter as the Fever pulled away for the win.
• Despite a pair of regular season losses to the Lynx, Indiana has won four of its past five games at Target Center.
• While playing without an impactful game by leading playoff scorer Katie Douglas, Indiana has rallied to register three huge road wins in the playoffs. Despite a woeful shooting game and just three points in the conference semis at Atlanta, the Fever managed a 103-88 win in Game 2 of the series. At Connecticut when Douglas sustained her ankle injury, Indiana recovered to throttle the Sun in Game 3, 87-71. Monday, with Douglas at her home in Indianapolis, the Fever stunned the defending champs on the road, 76-70.
• Both franchises are playing in their second WNBA Finals. In 2009, the Fever lost to Phoenix 3-2 in the WNBA Finals and has five players from that team playing in this year’s finals against the Lynx. Minnesota is the defending WNBA champions.
• Only one team in the history of the WNBA has won four elimination games en route to a championship. That was Seattle in 2004. Indiana could become the second team to accomplish that feat. The Fever lost the first game in best-of-three series with Atlanta and Connecticut and then won the next two games in each series to advance.
• 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. She did not make the trip to Minnesota for Sunday’s game.
• The WNBA Finals are back at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. We want you to make sure you are there to cheer on the Fever as they attempt to knock off defending champions Minnesota Lynx. The Varsity Club Restaurant at Bankers Life Fieldhouse located on the Krieg de Vault Club Level will be open.
Players To Watch
Fever – Erlana Larkins
Larkins was inserted into the starting lineup after an opening series loss to Atlanta and has started the last six playoff games for the Fever. In Sunday’s win she finished the game with 16 points and added 15 rebounds, seven of which are offensive, for her second double-double of the postseason. She added three assists and one block. Larkins is averaging over 11 points and 10 rebounds per game in the playoffs.
Lynx – Maya Moore
Moore finished Sunday’s game with a double-double, recording 14 points and 10 rebounds. Six of those rebounds were offensive. She shot 4-for-14 from the field and 3-for-10 from the 3-point line. The Lynx forward is averaging 17 points and over six rebounds per game in the playoffs.
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 Game
Fever vs. Lynx - Tamika Catchings scored seven of her team- high 20 points in the fourth quarter as the Indiana Fever held off the Minnesota Lynx, 76-70, in Game 1 of the WNBA Finals. Erlana Larkins added 16 points and 15 rebounds for the Fever, who had been 0-2 against the Lynx this season. Erin Phillips contributed 13 points and Briann January netted 11 in the victory. Seimone Augustus scored a game-high 23 points, while Maya Moore finished with 14 points and 10 rebounds for the Lynx who are trying to become the WNBA’s first back-to-back champions since the Los Angeles Sparks in 2001-02. Rebekkah Brunson also had a double-double with 10 points and 10 boards in defeat. .
Indiana beat the Lynx 76-70 in the first ever playoff meeting between the two teams. Minnesota beat the Fever in both regular season games; Sept. 14 (66-64 in Indianapolis) and Sept. 17 (86-79 in Minneapolis). Overall the regular season 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. Indiana, in fact, has won four of its past five road games against the Lynx.