Indiana has now officially won five straight games when facing elimination. Needless to say, these women know how to fight.
What I witnessed from Indiana this game was passion. This is the Indiana that I watched in game 1. They fought, and they fought hard. Shenise Johnson shined bright with 15 points and 5 rebounds, Marissa Coleman with 14; and Briann January worked the floor all night with 13 points, 3 rebounds and 5 assists.
I could tell just from the start of the first quarter that the Fever were coming into this ball game with a whole new mindset. You could see that this team regrouped, found their rhythm, and were determined for one outcome- to win.
Indiana did well passing the ball throughout the game and really let their unity as a group lead the way. They took control of the ball and maintained their positions under the rim to get the defensive rebounds. Not only did they dominate on defense, but their offense stayed strong.
One contribution to the offensive success was the help from the bench. Their bench collected 23 total points, as opposed to 14 from Minnesota. Another major game-changer was their free throws.
They knew how to drive the ball to the basket and draw those fouls. The Fever made an unheard of 25-29 free throws in tonight's game, which in turn means the Lynx gave out way too many fouls. The team in total had 26 personal fouls, and Sylvia Fowles was at the top of the charts with 5.
And what does that mean? Fowles was on the bench. And what else does that mean? Fowles was not able to contribute per usual. Fowles only collected 5 points in the entire game, which is nothing compared to her average 14.5 in the finals.
Maya Moore was the team's leading scorer with 20 points and 8 rebounds, but you could tell her game wasn't as on as it usually is, especially following such a monumental game 3.
Overall Minnesota was not able to find a stable rhythm tonight, allowing 15 turnovers, which ultimately lost them 17 points. Lindsay Whalen finally made her big contribution tonight collecting an impressive 16 points and Seimone Augustus with 10, but these big three were not able to make up offensively for the weak defense that was displayed tonight.
If Minnesota wants to come out on top to become the 2015 WNBA Champions in game 5, they MUST find that rhythm they had in game 3 and Maya needs to unleash that inner clutchness we all know she has. They need to focus on their defense, and not allow the Fever to draw those fouls.
On the Fever's end, if they show up to game 5 with the fire and passion they did tonight and in game 1, they have this final game in the bag. The Fever know how to create momentum, and that momentum is undoubtedly a winning force.