The Fever returned home to take on the Minnesota Lynx Saturday night, riding high from a much-needed Wednesday night win, improving to 7 wins on the season.
The Fever were looking to avenge a heartbreaking loss to the Lynx from earlier this season, where they came back from a 20-point deficit to Minnesota but couldn’t seal the deal, losing by just 4 points.
Saturday saw the Fever come out with an intensity and confidence that had been missing lately and ended the first quarter down by only 4. All Star MVP Erica Wheeler served as a strong leader on the court and as well as the bench- much like she has all season- and the Fever were off to a solid start.
The second quarter started rough, with the Fever lacking ball handling, throwing the ball away and missing some crucial shots. The confidence seemed to be fading but toward the end of the 1st half, they fired back up and finished strong, thanks to Kelsey Mitchell, who put the team on her shoulders and sank some very important three-pointers and layups.
Natalie Achonwa- who’s been a strong on-the-court leader- who hit an important free throw, which followed a fouled layup, cutting the Lynx’ lead to 10.
The Fever opened the 2nd half on a dominant 12-2 run, hitting almost every shot and tying the game back up at 50 and that fire continued through the entire quarter, with the Fever handling the ball to perfection, controlling the pace of the game and knocking the Lynx off their game and making them play at Indiana’s speed.
Kelsey Mitchell was the star of the game for the Fever, as took complete control, scoring 20 points alongside 9 assists- which led to 18 Fever points. Indiana had five players in double figures and the Lynx had no answer as Coach Pokey Chatman played All Stars Erica Wheeler and Candice Dupre a combined 20 minutes (Dupree at 12 and Wheeler at 8), opting to focus on her bench, which brought 55 points- outscoring the starters by 31.
The 11 point win was the largest regular season comeback in Fever history, having erased a 20-point deficit, and the first winning streak since the first two home games of the season, back in June.
The Fever will have time to soak this in, as they don’t play again until Thursday, when they travel to Washington, hoping to avenge a heartbreaking OT loss to the Mystics a few weeks ago.
If this is the Fever team that shows up the rest of the season- with Stephanie Mavunga, Kelsey Mitchell, Natalie Achonwa and Shenise Johnson playing this well off the bench, we could be looking at a scary team for anyone to face down the stretch.