Game Preview: Fever at Liberty

Indiana Fever (9-17) at New York Liberty (12-12)

Date: Tuesday, August 8, 2017
Time: 7:00 p.m. (EDT)
Site: Madison Square Garden (New York, NY)
TV: none
Live Stream: WNBA League Pass

Probable Starters
Fever: F- Tiffany Mitchell, F- Candice Dupree, C- Natalie Achonwa, G- Erica Wheeler, G- Briann January
Liberty: F- Shavonte Zellous, F- Tina Charles, C- Kia Vaughn, G- Epiphanny Prince, G- Bria Hartley

The Indiana Fever open a three-game road trip at Madison Square Garden when they take on the New York Liberty, Tuesday night. The matchup is the second of three games this season between the two clubs.

In Indiana’s 84-82 win against the Minnesota Lynx on Sunday night, Candice Dupree scored a season-high 31 points, just one point shy of her career-best. She scored 20 of those on 10-of-13 shooting in the second half to help the Fever defeat the league’s top-ranked team. She also led the way on the boards with nine rebounds.

Storylines & Promotion
• The Fever emerged from a tight contest with a win to snap a five-game losing streak and defeat the Minnesota Lynx, 84-82, Sunday night. Dupree’s 31 points and nine rebounds led the way, but Erlana Larkins made a game-winning put back with 8.2 seconds to play, and Briann January sank a pair of free throws to ensure it in the final second.

• The Fever collected a season-high 14 steals and forced Minnesota into 21 turnovers, one shy of the Lynx’s worst total this year.

• Dupree has scored in double figures four straight games. Her 31 points was the best by a Fever player this season, and ties Tamika Catchings and Olympia Scott for the fourth-most points in a single game in franchise history. It was the 18th 30+ point game in Fever franchise history, and the first since Shavonte Zellous scored 33 points against Tulsa on June 25, 2014.

• Erica Wheeler scored nine points and handed out seven assists against Minnesota. It was her third time in four games with at least six assists, and her season average of four per game is a career-high.

• January scored 14 points for her 12th double figure performance of the year. She added six assists for her ninth game of at least six this year.

• Tiffany Mitchell tied a career-high with eight rebounds in the game. She added eight points in her fifth straight start.

• Jazmon Gwathmey scored nine points and tied career-highs with four assists, two steals, and three blocks. She played 30 minutes off the bench, the most action she’s seen in a Fever uniform.

• The Liberty came up short against the Los Angeles Sparks, 87-74, Friday night. Bria Hartley led the team with 16 points, and Tina Charles added 10 points and four assists.

• The Fever held MVP-contender Sylvia Fowles to just six points and eight rebounds, and face another tough challenge in the paint against the Liberty. Charles is currently fourth in the WNBA in scoring with 19.9 points per game. Her 9.6 rebounds per contest rank third in the league.

• The Fever are the best free throw shooting team in the WNBA, with a mark of 85.6 percent. The team is on pace to set a new franchise record for the second straight year, besting the team’s 84.5 percent performance from last season. Tiffany Mitchell is fourth individually with a 91.8 percent conversion rate.

• When the Fever hold a lead entering the final quarter, they are 5-2. With a lead in crunch time, they’re even better: 8-1 when leading with four minutes to play. The two times they squandered final quarter leads were in losses last week to Dallas and New York.

• Erlana Larkins was drafted by the Liberty in 2008, spending two seasons with New York. Shavonte Zellous played six seasons with the Indiana Fever, winning a title in 2012 and reaching the WNBA Finals in 2015. New York assistant coach Herb Williams was drafted by the Fever’s NBA counterpart, the Pacers, in 1981, and spent seven and a half seasons with the franchise.

• The Fever are 41-25 all-time against the Liberty, including a 17-16 record in New York. Indiana has won six of the past nine overall against the Liberty, though New York managed an 85-84 victory at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on July 28.