MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -The Indiana Fever want to establish themselves as a great defensive team. Sunday night's victory was a good start.
Tamika Catchings scored 27 points and the Fever held the Minnesota Lynx to 20 percent shooting in an 89-51 rout.
``We're an energy defensive team,' Fever coach Lin Dunn said. ``I thought tonight we probably defended as well as we have defended since back to the playoffs.'
Katie Douglas added 12, and Tammy Sutton-Brown and Shavonte Zellous each finished with 10 to lead the Fever (5-3) to their third straight win and fifth in six games.
Rebekkah Brunson led the Lynx (2-7) with 10 points and 12 rebounds, her third straight double-double. Candice Wiggins added 11 points, but shot just 1 for 8 from the field.
Lynx guard Lindsay Whalen missed the game because of an undisclosed illness, and the Fever took full advantage. Indiana held Minnesota to a franchise-low for field goals (12-for-58).
``We are a bad basketball team,' Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve said. ``It starts at the top. I have not been able to get them to understand defensively what we need to get done and clearly our offense if one of the worst in the league.'
Indiana finished 9 for 16 from 3-point range, while Minnesota missed all four of its attempts from beyond the arc.
The Fever led by 20 at halftime and held Minnesota to 3-for-23 shooting to start the game. The Lynx went 11:15 between field goals during a rough stretch bridging the first and second quarters.
Wiggins hit a runner with 5:49 left in the second to end the drought, but Minnesota trailed by 24 at that point.
Although they were playing for the third time in four nights, the Fever shot 56.3 percent in the first half and led by as many as 30 in the third quarter.
``Even though we flew in last night and didn't get a lot of rest, you can't think about being tired,' Catchings said. ``You need to focus on the game and we talked about that. Everyone that comes in needs to play with energy.'
The Lynx have trailed by 20 or more in five games this season and by 30 twice.
After starting the season 0-2, the Fever appear to be back on track.
``I think we have the type of players that deal with adversity well,' Dunn said. ``We're just trying to focus on getting better and not panicking. We lost those first two games and they were very positive. They think the potential is there and I'm starting to see it.'
The Associated Press News Service
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved