The Indiana Fever demolished an exhausted Seattle Storm club by a final score of 88-65 in front of 12,189 fans Wednesday in Indianapolis. The 23-point margin of victory was the largest of the season for Indiana, while their 88 points was a season high at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
Seattle started the game off leading 2-0 on a layup from Crystal Langhorne, but it would be their only lead of the game, as Indiana quickly established a lead of their own that ballooned to a 53-35 advantage by the half.
The third period saw the two teams play even, both scoring 20 points. However, the fourth quarter again belonged to the Fever, as they outscored the Storm 15-10, in what turned out to be little more than 10 minutes of Seattle testing its bench players because Indiana, clearly, had the game in control.
To understand how the Fever were able to dominate so completely the Storm, one only has to look at the 24 turnovers Seattle committed. Anytime the Storm even thought about getting back into the contest, they would inevitably commit another, often unforced, turnover that snuffed out any small amount of moment they might have gained.
"(Indiana was) super active, super energized, really helping each other and putting a lot of pressure on us in different spots," said Storm coach Jenny Boucek, "requiring us to have the same energy but also really collectively being able to read what they're doing. And we just weren't able to do it."
Storm captain Sue Bird, who has uncharacteristically been allowing the offense to stagnate the last two games, mirrored Boucek's sentiments.
"Indiana is a really good defensive team, and they like to be physical and aggressive and take you out of your sets, and that's basically what happened. We just didn't respond to what they did. Obviously, turning the ball over is never a good thing. But it wasn't just turnovers. I think in a lot of areas they played a lot better than we did."
The Fever's all-out assault was led by forward Lynetta Kizer, who finished with a game-high 17 points off the bench.
"What I try to do every day is just play hard," Kizer said. "My guards were getting me the ball in the right places and where I felt comfortable just knocking down shots."
Besides Kizer, Marissa Colman (15 points, six rebounds) and Tamika Catchings (12 points) also reached double figures for the Fever.
Seattle was led by the 15 bench points of Jewell Loyd, who is averaging 13.6 points per game over the last five contests.
Also reaching double figures for the Storm was Abby Bishop, who finished with 12 points and five rebounds in the losing effort.