Sunday, June 12 – 3 p.m. PT
Bankers Life Fieldhouse | Indianapolis, IN
NBA TV; WNBA League Pass
With a 4-5 record, Indiana sits in sixth place in the league standings. The Fever is coming off a loss on Friday at home against Chicago, while Seattle suffered a heartbreaking defeat at Connecticut on a last-second shot by the Sun. The Storm is now tied for ninth in the WNBA with a 3-6 record.
Seattle lost 85-75 at Indiana on June 1, marking the Fever’s fifth straight victory over the Storm and ninth win in the last 10 meetings. The Storm was without Alysha Clark in the first meeting, as the veteran forward was dealing with a knee bruise. On Sunday, Seattle will aim to win on the road against the Fever for the first time since 2008.
Sunday’s game features two of the league’s best rookies in addition to two of its best veterans. Storm forward Breanna Stewart leads all first-year players with 15.7 points per game, while Fever rookie guard Tiffany Mitchell is close behind her with 14.1 points per contest. Indiana forward Tamika Catchings, who is retiring after the season, ranks in the league’s all-time top six in points, assists and rebounds. Seattle’s Sue Bird is 11th all-time in scoring, ninth in steals and second in assists.
The Storm is 3-0 when it finishes with as many or more second-chance points as its opponent, and 0-6 when its opponent has more. Seattle also boasts a 3-1 record when winning the rebounding battle and an 0-5 record when losing it. The last time these teams met, the Fever limited the Storm to one offensive rebound and zero second-chance points. Indiana gives up just 9.4 second-chance points per game, the fewest in the league.
Rookie guard Tiffany Mitchell leads the Fever in scoring with 14.1 points per game, and second-year guard Jewell Loyd paces the Storm with 17.1 per contest. Mitchell has come off the bench four times, part of the reason why Indiana averages the second-most bench points per game (29.2). Since notching a career-high 32 against Phoenix, Loyd has combined to score just 12 points in her last two games on 3-of-16 shooting.
- Sunday’s game marks the 23rd meeting between Sue Bird and Tamika Catchings, who represent the longest tenures among current players with the teams that drafted them. Catchings was drafted third overall out of Tennessee in 2001, while the Storm selected Bird first overall in 2002. Bird is 9-13 in meetings with Catchings.
- In its most recent game, the Storm lost at Connecticut on a go-ahead basket in the waning moments for the second straight year. When Seattle played at Connecticut in 2015, Sun forward Shekinna Stricklen scored off a rebound with 8.2 seconds left to give the host team a one-point victory. On Friday at Mohegan Sun Arena, it was Alyssa Thomas who scored the game-winning putback with 0.6 seconds remaining to clinch the victory for Connecticut.