Lynx-Fever preview

BY foxsports • September 15, 2016

The Minnesota Lynx have already locked up home-court advantage throughout the postseason. The Indiana Fever still have a shot at earning home-court in the first round.

The two teams with different levels of motivation collide Friday when the Lynx travel to Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis to take on the Fever.

With two games remaining in the regular season, Indiana (16-16) has clinched a spot in the eight-team playoffs and sits in sixth place, one-half game behind the Atlanta Dream and a full game behind fourth-place Chicago. The top four teams earn home-court advantage in the first round.

The Fever had a chance to move up the standings Tuesday, but blew an 11-point lead in the second half and dropped an 89-87 decision to the Connecticut Sun. The Fever shot 52.5 percent from the field, but were sloppy with the ball, committing 21 turnovers that led to 20 Connecticut points. The loss spoiled a career-high 23-point performance from reserve guard Shenise Johnson and ended Indiana's three-game winning streak.

Minnesota (26-6) locked up home-court advantage in the playoffs with a road victory over San Antonio on Sunday. The Lynx followed it up with an overtime loss to the Chicago Sky on Tuesday, though, ending Minnesota's five-game win streak. The Lynx have won 11 of their last 13.

Maya Moore is averaging 19.4 points and 4.2 assists, both team highs for Minnesota. Sylvia Fowles (13.5), Seimone Augustus (11.3) and Lindsay Whalen (10.1) also are averaging double figures in points for the Lynx, who enter the postseason as the favorites to repeat as WNBA champions.

Indiana veteran Tamika Catchings, who announced she will retire after the season, leads the Fever in scoring, averaging 12.7 points per game, and is second on the team in rebounding (4.8). Catchings will need to be at her best against the Lynx, who have won 11 of their last 13 meetings against Indiana, including both games this season.

Indiana wraps up the regular season Sunday at home against the Dallas Wings. The Lynx finish the regular season Sunday against Atlanta.


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