Indianapolis — The Indiana Fever fell to the Minnesota Lynx 82-75 on Fan Appreciation Night presented by Sport Graphics Friday night at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. The Fever played a solid three quarters before Minnesota went on a 21-8 run through the first six minutes of the final period to secure the win.
“We got better for three quarters,” Fever Head Coach Stephanie White said. “You can’t have a fourth quarter where you turn the ball over seven times. You can’t do it against any team, but you especially can’t do it against a great team like Minnesota.”
Indiana committed 18 turnovers in the game. Despite shooting 46 percent from the floor, the Fever couldn’t stifle the hot-shooting Lynx as Minnesota scored at a 50.8 percent clip from the floor and 66.7 percent from the 3-point line.
Despite the loss, Indiana veterans achieved several milestones in the game. With four rebounds Friday night, Tamika Catchings passed Lisa Leslie as the WNBA’s all-time leading rebounder. Briann January also scored eight points, becoming the third player in franchise history to reach 2,000 points (Tamika Catchings, Katie Douglas).
Marissa Coleman led Indiana by tying a season-high with 19 points, five rebounds and three steals. Catchings added 11 points and four rebounds–the third of which broke the WNBA record.
Shenise Johnson tallied 10 points on 4-for-7 shooting. Johnson made two more free throw attempts on Friday to extend her franchise record for consecutive made free throws to 37. She has not missed since July 15.
Maya Moore netted 15 points on 5-for-8 shooting for the Lynx. Keisha Hampton was deadly from beyond the arc, adding a career-high 13 points on 4-for-5 from beyond the arc.
After going back and forth through much of the first half, Shenise Johnson scored six points in under a minute of action early in the second period to give Indiana a lift. Minnesota used some deadly 3-point shooting to hold a slight edge at the half, 45-41. The Lynx were 5-for-5 from distance aside from a half-court heave at the buzzer that fell short.
Just minutes into the third, a pair of buckets from Catchings followed by a fast break and-one for Coleman took Indiana from trailing 46-49 to leading 53-49. Minnesota won the remainder of the period and took a 59-58 edge into the fourth despite Indiana winning the quarter, 17-14.
The Lynx opened the fourth quarter on a 21-8 run as a 3-pointer from Moore with 4:40 left lifted the Lynx to a double-digit lead and provided the exclamation point.
Indiana fell to 16-17 while Minnesota improved to 27-6. The Lynx tied a franchise record for road wins in a season. They’ve now won 12 straight regular season games over the Fever dating back to 2011.
“We are going to watch a little bit of film,” Johnson said. “At the same time, we’re not going to get too low and we’re not going to get too high. We’ve been focused on ourselves these last four or five games and we want to make sure we’re playing well going into the playoffs.”
With the Chicago Sky beating the New York Liberty on Friday, the Fever are locked in to either the No. 5 or No. 6 seed, marking a first-round home game with either Seattle or Phoenix on Wednesday, Sept. 21.