Sun, Fever aim to pass break-even point (Jun 30, 2017)

BY AP • June 30, 2017

The Connecticut Sun and Indiana Fever each will try to climb above .500 when they meet Saturday evening at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

Both teams are 7-7 this season and searching for their second win in a row.

If Saturday's game is anything like the teams' first matchup of the season, fans should be in for a good show. Indiana outlasted Connecticut for an 81-79 win on May 20 in Indianapolis.

In that game, Candice Dupree led the Fever with 19 points and six rebounds. The Sun were led by Jonquel Jones, who scored 19 points and pulled down 12 rebounds as part of a double-double.

"When you value the basketball, you will have good opportunities for success," Fever coach Pokey Chatman said to the team's official website after a win this week over the Chicago Sky. "Despite a lack of flow, we found a way to hit a few shots and really grind it out. Sometimes when things don't go all right, those are the best wins."

The Fever boast a 5-2 record on their home court. Meanwhile, Connecticut is 4-4 on the road.

The Sun will try to build upon a dominant 104-71 win over the Atlanta Dream in their most recent game a week ago. Connecticut rolled to a big win despite the absence of Morgan Tuck (knee contusion), Lynetta Kizer (back) and Alex Bentley, who is competing for Belarus in a tournament overseas.

"I am really proud of our team," Sun coach and general manager Curt Miller told the team's official website. "It has been a tough stretch of adversity for our team and then another injury, to Lynetta, right after we traded Jordan Hooper. We are down in numbers, but we had good days of practice. They bought into the game plan."

Connecticut likely will pose a tough challenge for Indiana on defense. The Sun are averaging 86.1 points per game this season, which ranks second in the NBA. Meanwhile, the Fever's defense has proved to be leaky at times as opponents have averaged 84.8 points per game.

Indiana is averaging 79.6 points per game, which ranks in the bottom half of the league. The Sun have allowed 82.8 points per game on defense.

Dupree leads the Sun with 14.1 points per game. She is shooting 50.3 percent from the field and 84.2 percent from the free-throw line.

Tiffany Mitchell (11.5 points), Erica Wheeler (11.0) and Shenise Johnson (10.1) also are averaging in double figures for the Fever. Briann January is not far behind with 9.5 points per game.

For Connecticut, Jones is averaging a double-double with 15.1 points and 12.1 rebounds. Four others are averaging double-digit scoring, including Jasmine Thomas (14.8), Alyssa Thomas (13.8), Courtney Williams (12.6) and Tuck (11.8).

The teams are scheduled to meet one more time during the regular season. On July 30, the series will shift northeast for the third and final matchup between the Fever and Sun.


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