Game Preview: Fever Return Home After Three-Game Road Trip to Take On Reigning Champion Las Vegas Aces

Indiana Fever vs Las Vegas Aces
Sunday, June 4, 2023
Gainbridge Fieldhouse | 4 p.m. ET
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Broadcast Information
Indiana Fever Facebook/CBS Sports Network
Pat Boylan (play-by-play), Bria Goss (analyst)

After a three-game road trip, the Indiana Fever return to Gainbridge Fieldhouse to take on the reigning WNBA champion Las Vegas Aces on Sunday at 4 p.m. ET.

Indiana earned its first win last Sunday defeating the Atlanta Dream, 90-87, on the road and was also Christie Sides’ first win of her head coaching career.

NaLyssa Smith’s team-high 23 points and 12 rebounds was her second-consecutive double-double of the season, and led the Fever offense as five other players for Indiana ended the day scoring in double figures. Smith is ranked second in the league in rebounds averaging 12.0 per game.

With her 11 points on Sunday against Atlanta, Erica Wheeler also moved into 10th place for most points scored in franchise history surpassing Natalie Achonwa at 1,301. Wheeler also went 3-of-4 from beyond the arc against Atlanta and surpassed 200 made 3-point field goals for her career. Wheeler enters Sunday at 1,313 points in a Fever uniform.

The last time out for Indiana was a hard fought loss at Connecticut, 81-78, on Tuesday night. The Fever were led by WNBA Rookie of the Month Aliyah Boston in scoring as she went 8-of-12 from the floor and her first game of her career reaching 20 points. Smith picked up right where she left off in Atlanta and tallied her third-consecutive double-double with 14 points and 15 rebounds. Smith’s performance on Tuesday moved her to fifth place all-time in double-doubles recorded in franchise history with 11, surpassing Tammy Sutton-Brown with 10. Kelsey Mitchell also recorded 19 points and went 3-of-5 from behind the three-point arc. Impactful defensive efforts from Lexie Hull, who had three steals, and Queen Egbo, who had three blocks, kept Indiana within reach of the lead all night.

Boston earned WNBA Rookie of the Month for May after an impressive start to her WNBA career. She became the first player to score more than 10 points and shoot 60 percent or better from the field through her first four career games. She is currently leading all 2023 rookies in scoring (15.8 ppg) and minutes played (27.0 mpg), while also ranking second in rebounding out of all rookies at 6.0 per game. Boston enters the weekend second in the league in field goal percentage at 66.7 percent (24-of-36).

The Las Vegas Aces are rolling to begin 2023 and have dominated to start the regular season. Las Vegas made history being the first WNBA team to score at least 90 points in each of its first four games. Four Aces have started the regular season averaging in double-figure scoring, led by fifth-year guard and the all-time leading scorer in IHSAA history, Jackie Young, averaging 23.0 points per game. Chelsea Gray is also second in the league in assists averaging 7.8 per game.

Las Vegas opened the regular season in Seattle with a decisive 41-point victory against the storm in a 105-64 win. Sunday’s matchup will be the second game of a four-game road trip for the Aces, concluding with a pair of games at the Connecticut Sun later in the week.

Las Vegas defeated Connecticut, 3-1, in the 2022 WNBA Finals to bring home the first championship in franchise history. In an effort to play for back-to-back titles, Las Vegas signed two-time WNBA MVP and two-time WNBA champion Candace Parker, and two-time WNBA champion Alysha Clark over the offseason.

Probable Starters

Indiana Fever (1-3)

Center – Aliyah Boston (15.8 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 1.25 bpg)
Forward – NaLyssa Smith (14.8 ppg, 12.0 rpg, 1.2 apg)
Guard – Lexie Hull (2.8 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 1.0 spg)
Guard – Kelsey Mitchell (16.0 ppg, 2.0 rpg, 2.5 apg)
Guard – Erica Wheeler (4.8 ppg, 1.8 rpg, 4.2 apg)

Las Vegas Aces (5-0)

Guard – Jackie Young (22.4 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 2.8 apg)
Forward – A’ja Wilson (19.4 ppg, 8.4 rpg, 2.0 apg)
Forward – Candace Parker (9.0 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 2.2 apg)
Guard – Kelsey Plum (15.4 ppg, 2.4 rpg, 4.6 apg)
Guard – Chelsea Gray (13.0 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 7.0 apg)

Game Status Report

Indiana – None
Las Vegas – Riquna Williams (OUT) Lower Back