Fever look for success on road vs. Mercury

Fever look for success on road vs. Mercury

One team will snap their two-game losing streak on Sunday when the Indiana Fever visit the Phoenix Mercury in the fourth and final meeting this season between the struggling squads.

Indiana (8-24) hits the road for the first time since Aug. 6 after concluding a 1-3 homestand with an 83-79 loss to the Washington Mystics on Friday.

The Fever trailed 74-71 with 2:00 to play before committing three straight turnovers that dashed any hope of securing just their fourth win over their last 20 games.

Indiana shot 8-of-11 from 3-point range in the second half but managed just eight points in the paint during that time after racking up 30 in the category before halftime.

Fever coach Christie Sides loathed her team’s second-half shot selection and pinned the loss on Indiana’s inability to build on what it did well in the first half.

“You have to continue moving on with what’s working,” Sides said before noting multiple instances when the Fever attempted 3-pointers instead of working the ball into the paint.

“It’s plays like that that just really keep us from expanding the lead and being in control of the game.”

Indiana led for most of the first half and entered intermission tied at 42-42 despite missing all nine of its three-point attempts.

Emma Cannon led the Fever with 17 points off the bench, while rookie Aliyah Boston scored just two of her 16 points after halftime.

The Mercury (9-22) have assembled patchwork lineups amid their season-long struggle to stay healthy. Friday’s combination, however, faltered early in Phoenix’s 85-63 home loss to the New York Liberty.

Diana Taurasi’s nine points guided the Mercury to a 19-16 lead after the first quarter, but Phoenix quickly unraveled without centers Brittney Griner and Megan Gustafson (health and safety protocols) and guard Shey Peddy (concussion).

The Liberty scored 12 straight points to build a 38-28 lead at the four-minute mark in the second quarter and never looked back.

“They did a couple of adjustments, and we were a little fatigued when we started to lose the second quarter,” Mercury interim coach Nikki Blue said, per AZCentral.com. “We really relied heavily on our starters in the first quarter and tried to ride them all the way through.”

Taurasi cooled off and shot a dreary 3-of-16 to finish with 14 points, while Sophie Cunningham matched Taurasi’s point production on 6-of-13 shooting.

—Field Level Media

Original source here

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Anthony Barnett
Anthony is the author of the Science & Technology section of ANH.