Date: Wednesday, June 5, 2013
Time: 11:00 AM
Site: Prudential Center (Newark, N.J.)
Webcast: Live webcast and stats can be accessed via WNBA Live Access on FeverBasketball.com (Webcasts during games televised on FOX Sports Indiana may not be available in local market areas due to blackout restrictions.)
Storylines & Promotions
• The Indiana Fever hopes to begin a new win streak when it travels to Newark, N.J. to face the Liberty for the first time this season. It is the first of five meetings between the Fever and Liberty. Indiana meets New York and Connecticut five times apiece on the 2013 schedule, with each of the three other Eastern Conference opponents just four times.
• Wednesday’s contest pits a pair of 1-1 opponents who split meetings in the WNBA’s opening week. Indiana tries to rebound from an 86-77 home-opening defeat to Atlanta last Friday. The Liberty, meanwhile, hope to win a second straight game after a 78-76 overtime win at Tulsa.
• Shavonte Zellous matched Tamika Catchings for game scoring honors in the win at San Antonio, becoming the fourth player on the Fever roster (Catchings, Douglas, Davenport) with 1,000 points in her career. Zellous enters the New York game with 1,031 points in her fifth pro season. Erin Phillips (926) and Briann January (875) should reach 1,000 later this season.
• With just nine more steals, Katie Douglas will join Catchings, Teicha Penicheiro and Sheryl Swoopes as the only players with at least 600 in her WNBA career.
• Wednesday’s game marks a reunion for Fever guard Shavonte Zellous as she will play against her former coach, Bill Laimbeer. Shortly after the 2009 season when Zellous played for Laimbeer during her rookie campaign, the Shock moved to Tulsa and Laimbeer left the league. Wednesday’s game is the first time the former Shock player and coach will share the hardwood since Sept. 26, 2009 when Indiana defeated Detroit in the 2009 Eastern Conference Finals.
• With Laimbeer as its coach and general manager, the 2013 Liberty looks an awful lot like the Detroit Shock teams from 2006 to 2009. Some of Detroit’s top players from those teams now play in New York – Kara Braxton, Cheryl Ford, Plenette Pierson and Katie Smith.
Fever: F - Tamika Catchings, C - Erlana Larkins, G - Katie Douglas, G - Shavonte Zellous, G - Briann January
Liberty – F - Essence Carson, F - Plenette Pierson, C - Kara Braxton, G - Kamiko Williams, G - Cappie Pondexter
After a sluggish first half for both teams, Indiana picked up its play in the third quarter. When New York nearly got even early in the fourth, the Fever again ran away from the Liberty. Tamika Catchings scored 22 points and Katie Douglas had 15 to lead Indiana to a 76-63 victory over New York on Thursday, August 30, 2012. Shavonte Zellous added 11 points to help the Fever (16-8) win their fourth straight and sixth in seven games since the league's monthlong Olympic break.
Fever: On a joyous and celebratory night at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, the Indiana Fever didn't want a visiting opponent ruining the mood. Problem was, the Fever got careless with the basketball late in the game. Indiana's defense struggled at times, too. And when Friday night's 2013 home opener had ended, the Fever players were left to deal with an 86-77 loss to the Atlanta Dream. Only a couple of hours earlier, in a pregame ceremony, Indiana's players and coaches accepted their championship rings for winning the 2012 WNBA title. A commemorative banner was hoisted to the rafters as 10,756 fans screamed their approval.
Liberty: Cappie Pondexter didn't think her game-winning shot was going to go in. It touched just about every part of the rim before dropping through the net with five-tenths of a second left, giving the New York Liberty a 78-76 victory over the Tulsa Shock on Friday night.
Indiana boasts a 29-18 series lead over the Liberty including a 3-1 mark in 2012. Indiana has won the season series with New York in every season since 2003, except for 2010 and 2011 when the clubs split 2-2 in both seasons. After losing 8 of 9 meetings from 2000-02 in the Fever’s infancy, Indiana is 28-10 since 2003. At Prudential Center, where the Liberty plays its home games for one more season prior to returning to Madison Square Garden, the Fever has won and lost each of the past two seasons (2-2). The Fever lost a 2011 playoff date in Newark before knocking the Liberty from the Eastern Conference Semifinals. After three summers of renovation, the Liberty is scheduled to return to MSG in 2014.