The Sun came out sluggish Tuesday, the Fever came out on a mission, as Indiana powered through to clinch a playoff spot for the 12th time in franchise history -- and it's 11th consecutive trip to the postseason, which is a new WNBA record.
With the final score of 81-51, the Fever's greatest lead ahead of Connecticut was by 34 points. Coming off of three losses, Indiana regained their focus to buckle down when it counted. Briann January sat for the second game in a row with a knee injury.
The Sun also had their fair share of injuries with only nine active for the night. Injuries have plagued Connecticut's roster which has dramatically put a damper on their postseason hopes.
It was no surprise that Indiana annihilated the Sun, who lacked energy and depth. Indiana outworked Connecticut with their well-equipped bench. Fever Head Coach Stephanie White praised her bench for waking up their offense. "I felt like after that first four or five minute stretch where we didn't seem to have any energy, we got some energy from our bench."
"We just didn't have it tonight," Sun center Kelsey Bone said after the disappointing loss. Connecticut played defeated with any chances of a playoff spot ripped away. "We got out-hustled, fought, any word you can think of, we got out-that tonight."
Bone was the night's top scorer with 17. Defense drove the Fever to excel in a night where their offense struggled to stay consistent. Four of the Fever's players hit double digits in points including Tamika Catchings who ended with 13.
The Sun played defeated with any chances of a playoff spot ripped away. Defense drove the Fever to excel in a night where their offense struggled to stay consistent. Four of Indiana's players hit double digits in points including Tamika Catchings who ended with 13.
With seemingly no fight in them, Connecticut trailed all four quarters.
With playoffs officially set for the Fever, they now have time to regroup and prepare for reaching the finals for the fifth straight year. Maggie Lucas who went 5-9 for 11 points weighed in on the importance of tonight's win: "It's just nice to get back in our rhythm as a team, because it's the end of the season. And now we locked up the playoff position. So that's kind of a relief at the same time.
"Not that we didn't think we were going to make it. It's nice to know that now and use that momentum going the rest of the year."
They end their season at home on September 13th against the East's top team, New York Liberty.