MINNEAPOLIS – The Indiana Fever snapped a five-game losing streak with an 84-80 road win against the Minnesota Lynx on Sunday night. Indiana has now won both matchups against the Lynx this season and improves to 4-12, while Minnesota drops to 3-11.
Rookie forward NaLyssa Smith led the Fever with a career night, breaking the 20-point threshold for the first time in her young career as she was one of four Fever players to score in double figures. Smith started off hot with 13 points in the first half and would finish with 21 points and 14 rebounds for her third double-double this season to go along with four assists and two blocks. As a team, Indiana recorded season-highs in both assists (25) and blocks (9) in the win.
Indiana shot 50 percent from the field and hit four 3-point field goals in the first quarter — three from guard Kelsey Mitchell alone ― and trailed by just one after the first 10 minutes.
The game remained close in the second quarter, but a 9-2 Fever run led by Kelsey Mitchell and Danielle Robinson gave Indiana the 43-38 lead going into halftime. Robinson ended the game with 16 points and six assists, her third game with at least six dimes.
Minnesota came out of halftime hitting seven of its first 10 field goals to tie the game at 53 with 6:13 left in the third quarter. Four of those shots came from forward Nikolina Milic, who scored 13 in the quarter and ended the game with 23 points. Outscored 29-19 in the third, the Fever trailed 65-62 heading into the fourth quarter.
In the final frame, a big momentum shift came following a foul by Fever forward Victoria Vivians on Lynx guard Aerial Powers. The brief on-court altercation following the whistle led to Fever center Queen Egbo, Smith and Powers receiving technical fouls.
After Minnesota’s possession, Smith hit a tough jumper to cut the Lynx lead down to two with 5:27 left in the fourth quarter. A big three-pointer by Robinson coupled with two pivotal three-pointers from Vivians kept Indiana down one with 1:47 left.
From that point on, the Fever held the Lynx scoreless as Vivians would hit another three-pointer to take the lead 81-80 and Indiana held on to deliver the fifth loss in the last six games to Minnesota.
After hitting all three of her three-pointers in the fourth quarter, Vivians finished the game with 15 points and a season-high five assists. Kelsey Mitchell also scored 15 points, making it her 13th game in double-figures this season.
For Minnesota, Powers logged her first double-double of the season with 15 points and 11 rebounds. Both guard Moriah Jefferson and forward Bridget Carleton scored 11 points.
The Fever return to Indiana Farmers Coliseum on Wednesday to face the Phoenix Mercury at 7 p.m. ET
Wednesday’s game will be streamed on the official Indiana Fever Facebook page in Indiana, Kentucky and Ohio.