Game Preview: Fever Battle Mercury at Home

The Indiana Fever returns home from a Sunday win at Minnesota to face the Phoenix Mercury on Wednesday at Indiana Farmers Coliseum at 7 p.m. ET. Phoenix is led by veteran guards Skylar Diggins-Smith and Diana Taurasi — who are averaging 18.5 ppg and 15.9 ppg, respectively. The Mercury are also under a new head coach this season in Vanessa Nygaard, the former Las Vegas Aces’ assistant.

This will be the first meeting of the season between the Fever and Mercury. Heading into the matchup, Indiana will be playing their fourth game in the past week, while Phoenix is playing their fourth in six days.

Indiana secured its fourth victory of the season on Sunday night with a close 84-80 win over Minnesota. Rookie forward NaLyssa Smith led the Fever with a career-high 21 points on 8-of-10 shooting and 14 rebounds. Forward Victoria Vivians had her fifth game of the season with at least three 3-pointers made — all three coming in the fourth quarter — and finished with 15 points. The Fever recorded season highs in assists (25) and blocks (9) on the way to the victory.

For Phoenix, they come off splitting their doubleheader against Washington. The first of the two games ended with the Mercury defeating the Mystics in overtime 99-90 on Sunday night. Guard Skylar Diggins-Smith scored a game-high 27 points with five assists and three steals. Four other players would join Diggins-Smith with double-digit points, and the Mercury secured the victory by outscoring the Mystics 14-5 in the extra period. The Mercury failed to complete the two-game sweep a similar on Tuesday night in an 83-65 loss. Guard Diamond DeShields led the team in scoring with 21 points, her third game with at least 20 points. The Mercury, however, shot just 38.7 percent and are now 2-6 when they shoot worse than 44 percent from the field this season.

Injury Report 
Fever – None
Mercury – Sophie Cunningham – OUT (Elbow), Kia Nurse – OUT (ACL), Brittney Griner – OUT (NWT)

Probable Starters

Indiana Fever (4-12)
F – Victoria Vivians (11.4 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 28.0 mpg)
F – NaLyssa Smith (13.7 ppg, 8.3 rpg, 29.9 mpg)
C – Queen Egbo (7.0 ppg, 6.7 rpg, 24.2 mpg)
G – Kelsey Mitchell (18.8 ppg, 3.9 apg, 32.8 mpg)
G – Danielle Robinson (8.5 ppg, 3.9 apg, 24.8 mpg)

Phoenix Mercury (5-9)
F – Brianna Turner (4.7 ppg, 7.7 rpg, 33.8 mpg)
F – Diamond DeShields (15.0 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 29.1 mpg)
C – Tina Charles (15.6 ppg, 7.3 rpg, 32.5 mpg)
G – Skylar Diggins-Smith (18.5 ppg, 4.8 apg, 34.2 mpg)
G – Diana Taurasi (15.9 ppg, 4.7 apg, 30.7 mpg)

Extra Notes

  • This will be Kelsey Mitchell’s 139th consecutive game for the Indiana Fever. That sets a new franchise record previously held by Tamika Catchings at 138.
  • Indiana’s Kelsey Mitchell and Phoenix’s Skylar Diggins-Smith are fourth and fifth in scoring average this season with 18.8 ppg and 18.5 ppg, respectively.
  • Indiana is 22-24 all-time versus Phoenix.

Broadcast Information
Livestream: Indiana Fever Facebook Page
Pat Boylan (play-by-play), Bria Goss (analyst)