The Indiana Fever conclude a four-game tilt at Indiana Farmers Coliseum over Labor Day weekend with a pair of games against the Phoenix Mercury on Saturday and Monday. Heading into this weekend, Phoenix has won 11 of the last 13 meetings against the Fever.
The Fever look to build off a 74-72 win against the Los Angeles Sparks on Tuesday night to keep its playoff hopes alive. Indiana scored the last 10 points in the final 2:52 of Tuesday night’s game to rally for the pivotal victory, which featured Kelsey Mitchell scoring the final five points, including a 3-point field goal with 1:19 remaining to tie the game. Following a turnover by the Sparks on the offensive end, Mitchell came up with the loose ball and was fouled with 15.3 seconds remaining. The 83 percent free throw shooter for her career stepped to the line and knocked down the two decisive free throws to snap the seven-game skid against the Sparks for the Fever.
Teaira McCowan tied a career-high with 19 rebounds to highlight her 10th double-double of the season and the 26th of her career. The +19 rebounding margin for the Fever also tied the largest rebounding margin this year against an opponent for Indiana.
Tiffany Mitchell scored in double figures for the 15th time over the last 16 games to end with 12 points and Lindsay Allen earned the starting nod in place of Danielle Robinson due to a right ankle injury in last Saturday’s game against Las Vegas.
Phoenix went into the Olympic break with a 9-10 record, but have put together seven straight wins following the hiatus and clinched its franchise-record ninth consecutive playoff appearance from 2013-2021 and are now searching for a league-record tying fourth WNBA Championship this postseason.
Last time out for Phoenix was a 20-point victory against the Chicago Sky, 103-83. Notre Dame alumna Skylar Diggins-Smith, arguably the greatest player in Notre Dame women’s basketball history, was named Western Conference Player of the Week earlier in the week and went on to finish with 20 points and 10 assists against the Sky. Kia Nurse led all scorers with 21, while Diana Taurasi added 17.
Fever: Danielle Robinson (out; right ankle) Bernadett Határ (out; right ankle), Chelsey Perry (out; right knee), Kysre Gondrezick (out, personal leave)
August 17, 2021:The Fever dropped the first meeting this season with the Mercury, 84-80.Kelsey Mitchell led the Fever again with her 29th career 20-point scoring game on 8-of-20 shooting. It was her eighth time this season reaching at least 20 points scored.
Victoria Vivians came off the bench and tied a career-high five made 3-point field goals on 5-of-9 from beyond the arc. As a team, the Fever made a season-high 10 3-point field goals Tuesday night. Vivians finished with 16 points, six rebounds and tied a season-high three assists.
For Phoenix, Brittney Griner led all scorers with 25 points and seven rebounds. Diana Taurasi poured in 22 points while shooting 10-of-10 from the free throw line, and added seven rebounds and seven assists. Brianna Turner recorded a double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds.
TV: Bally Sports Indiana, NBA TV
Pat Boylan (play-by-play), Tully Bevilaqua (analyst)
Following the two games in three nights against the Mercury, Indiana will begin a two-game set at the Minnesota Lynx on Friday night in Minneapolis. Fans across the state, as well in Kentucky and Ohio, can also tune in for Fever games this year at FeverBasketball.com and the team’s official Facebook page.