Top 5 Home Games in 2016

Take a look at the five most highly anticipated games on the Indiana Fever’s 2016 schedule, Tamika Catchings’ final season.

Indiana Fever vs. Phoenix Mercury
Wednesday, May 18 – Tipoff is 7:00 p.m. ET
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The Phoenix Mercury will come to Bankers Life Fieldhouse on Wednesday, May 18 with their leader back at the helm, as former MVP and 10-time All-WNBA player Diana Taurasi returns after sitting out the 2015 season.

The Fever won both meetings with the Mercury during the 2015 season. They prevailed on June 12 in Indianapolis, 77-74, thanks to a 27-point, 13-rebound performance from Tamika Catchings. They also defeated the Mercury on the road on Aug. 16, 75-63, led by 19 points from Lynetta Kizer, 12 points from Briann January, and 11 points from Shavonte Zellous.

In her previous two games against the Fever, both wins during the 2014 season, Taurasi averaged 19 points, three assists, and 1.5 steals on 43 percent shooting from the field and 42 percent on 3-pointers. She also connected on all 15 free throw attempts.

The Mercury also feature talented young center Brittney Griner, who was named to the All-WNBA First Team and selected as the Defensive Player of the Year in 2014.

The Fever are 18-11 all-time against the Mercury, and 10-5 in the series while playing at home.

The two teams met in the 2009 WNBA Finals, in which Phoenix defeated Indiana by winning 3-of-5 games.

Indiana Fever vs. Chicago Sky
Friday, June 10 – Tipoff is 7:00 p.m. ET
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When the Chicago Sky come to Bankers Life Fieldhouse on Friday, June 10, they’ll likely do so with revenge on their minds. While the Sky swept the regular season series with the Fever, with an average margin of victory of 19.8 points in the four games, they were ultimately upset by the Fever in the first round of the WNBA Playoffs.

Reigning WNBA Most Valuable Player Elena Delle Donne played extremely well against the Fever in the regular season. She averaged 22 points, 9.3 rebounds, three assists, 2.3 steals, and three blocks in those four victories, shooting 48 percent from the field, 36 percent on 3-pointers, and 94 percent from the free throw line.

The Fever clearly made Delle Donne the focal point of their defense once the playoffs started, as they held her to just 12.5 points and 6.5 rebounds on 33 percent shooting over the first two games of the series, which the teams split.

The MVP bounced back in the decisive Game 3 with a 40-point performance, but the Fever ultimately prevailed, 100-89, thanks to 27 points, nine rebounds, and six assists from Tamika Catchings.

The Fever have dominated the series historically, winning 32 of 45 games. They have also won 18 out of 22 games in Indianapolis.

Indiana Fever vs. New York Liberty
Sunday, June 19 – Tipoff is 2:00 p.m. ET
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The New York Liberty will travel to Indianapolis on Sunday, June 19 for a game that will have drastic historical implications. To begin with, it will present a rematch of the 2015 Eastern Conference Finals. Secondly, it is the final regular season game of the 2016 season. And last, but certainly not least, it will be the final regular season game of one of the greatest players in women’s basketball history, Tamika Catchings.

The Fever defeated the Liberty in four of their five meetings during the 2015 season. In those five games, 2012 MVP Tina Charles averaged 14.8 points, 5.8 rebounds, 3.2 assists, and 1.2 blocks while shooting 49 percent from the field and 67 percent from the charity stripe for the Liberty.

While the Fever dropped Game 1 of the Conference Finals on Sept. 23 in New York City, 67-84, they bounced back with consecutive victories, winning 70-64 at home on Sept. 27 and 66-51 on the road on Sept. 29. Charles led the Liberty with 18.7 points, nine rebounds, 4.3 assists, and a block in the series, shooting 46 percent from the floor and 80 percent on free throws.

While Catchings only had nine points and two rebounds in Game 1 of the Conference Finals, she redeemed herself by averaging 19.5 points and 5.5 rebounds over Games 2 and 3, both wins, which propelled the Fever to the 2015 WNBA Finals.

Liberty coach Bill Laimbeer, a two-time NBA Champion with the Detroit Pistons, was named the 2015 WNBA Coach of the Year. First year head coach of the Fever, Stephanie White, was voted as the runner-up.

The Fever are 39-22 all-time against the Liberty in the regular season, and 23-7 at home in the series.

Indiana Fever vs. Los Angeles Sparks
Tuesday, July 19 – Tipoff is 8:00 p.m. ET
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The Los Angeles Sparks will play in Indianapolis on Tuesday, July 19.

The Fever won their first game against the Sparks last season on Aug. 18 in Los Angeles, 79-68, overcoming an impressive performance by perennial All-WNBA player and two-time WNBA MVP Candace Parker (25 points, 10 rebounds, six assists, eight steals, and three blocks).

The Sparks bounced back by squeaking out an 81-79 victory in Indianapolis on Aug. 26, thanks to a near-triple-double performance from Parker (15 points, 10 rebounds, nine assists, and three steals).

Tamika Catchings averaged 15 points, 8.5 rebounds, three assists, and four steals in her two games against the Sparks last season.

The Sparks are 20-9 all-time against the Fever, and 8-6 in Indianapolis.

Indiana Fever vs. Minnesota Lynx
Friday, September 16 – Tipoff is 7:00 p.m. ET
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In a rematch of the 2015 WNBA Finals, the Fever will take on the Minnesota Lynx at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on Friday, Sept. 16.

The Lynx defeated the Fever on June 6 in Indianapolis, 78-69, and won again nearly three months later on Sept. 4 in Minnesota, 81-65. Over the two wins, Maya Moore averaged 13.5 points, 5.5 rebounds, 2.5 assists, and 1.5 steals.

Moore’s output only increased when the two teams met again in the Finals. Over the five-game series, in which the Fever won two, Moore posted per-game averages of 19 points, 7.8 rebounds, 2.4 assists, two steals, and 1.8 blocks. Her teammate, Sylvia Fowles, averaged 15.6 points, 9.5 rebounds, and a block en route to being named the 2015 WNBA Finals MVP.

Catchings averaged 12.2 points, nine rebounds, 2.4 assists, 2.2 steals, and 1.2 blocks per game in the Finals, shooting 38 percent from the field, 67 percent from beyond the 3-point line, and 90 percent on free throws.

The Fever are 12-18 historically against the Lynx in the regular season, and 6-9 while playing in Indianapolis.

Indiana defeated Minnesota to win the 2012 WNBA Championship. Catchings was named Finals MVP, with averages of 22.3 points, six rebounds, 3.5 assists, two steals, and 2.3 blocks per game.