Game Preview: Fever vs Mercury

Indiana Fever (1-14) vs Phoenix Mercury (11-5)

Date: Friday, June 29, 2018
Time: 7:00 p.m. (EDT)
Site: Bankers Life Fieldhouse
TV: none
Live Stream: WNBA League Pass

Probable Starters
Fever: F- Victoria Vivians, F- Candice Dupree, C- Natalie Achonwa, G- Kelsey Mitchell, G- Tiffany Mitchell
Mercury: F- Sancho Lyttle, F- DeWanna Bonner, C- Brittney Griner, G- Diana Taurasi, G- Briann January

The Indiana Fever return to Indianapolis to face the Phoenix Mercury for the first time this season. Indiana is looking for its second win, coming off a loss to the Connecticut Sun, on Wednesday night, 101-89. The Mercury are looking for their 12th win on the year, as they defeated New York, 83-69, Tuesday night.

Versus the Sun, the Fever were led by rookie Victoria Vivians with 25 points, shooting 10-of-14 from the field and 5-of-8 from behind the arc. Diana Taurasi scored 27 points and handed out seven assists for Phoenix in their victory over New York.

Injury Report
Guard Shenise Johnson (left knee ACL rehabilitation) remains out and will not play.

Storylines & Promotion
• Friday’s home game is the season’s first between the Fever and the Mercury. The Fever hold an 11-7 series advantage at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Indiana is 21-14 overall in the series, winning five of the past eight meetings overall. Last year, Phoenix won bouts in Phoenix and Indy before the Fever escaped with an 84-77 win in the desert, July 19.

• Tonight, is Lucas Oil Night. The first 3,000 fans will receive a Fever branded license plate holder courtesy of Lucas Oil!

• Briann January makes a return to the arena she called home through her first nine pro seasons, including eight playoff berths, three Finals appearances and a 2012 championship with the Fever. A WNBA All-Star in 2014 with Indiana, January was drafted by the Fever with the No. 6 pick in the 2009 WNBA Draft. She ranks third in club in history in scoring, and second in assists.

• For the first time since they were married (Fall 2016), former Phoenix teammates Candice Dupree and DeWanna Bonner will compete against each other on the court. Friday night is the first time Dupree and Bonner have played on opposing teams since 2009, when Bonner was a Phoenix rookie and Dupree was still playing in Chicago. Dupree was traded to the Mercury in the 2010 season, where they began the first of six seasons as teammates. This game also marks the first time Bonner and her half-sister Erica McCall will take the floor together in the pros.

• Phoenix center Brittney Griner needs one double-double to tie the Mercury’s franchise record with 32 in her career. Ironically, the record is currently held by Dupree.

• Phoenix coach Sandy Brondello was drafted by Indiana in the second round of the WNBA’s 2000 expansion draft, but was traded to Miami in exchange for local star Stephanie White.

• Wednesday’s game against the Sun marked the highest scoring game in regulation for Indiana this season (89 points). The Fever scored 92 points in their overtime loss to Las Vegas earlier this season, marking the only other time this season that the team has scored over 89 points.

• Three of Indiana’s four rookies combined for nine 3-pointers in the contest against Connecticut Wednesday night. Victoria Vivians shot 5-of-8 from behind the arc and Kelsey Mitchell shot 3-of-6 from behind the 3-point line. Hind Ben Abdelkader added on the final three for the Fever. Indiana’s nine 3-pointers helped fuel a season-best 46-percent shooting effort Wednesday night.