Free agent offseason pick-up Erlana Larkins owned the Atlanta Dream inside with 20 rebounds and 16 points as Indiana Fever clinched the series against Atlanta. Katie Douglas led all scorers with 24 points, most, if not all, coming when either McCoughtry or Hayes was defending her instead of Atlanta’s top defender Armintie Price. Tamika Catchings also recorded a double-double with 16 points and 11 rebounds. Catchings had issues throughout the game with stopping bleeding from her chin after catching an elbow from Angel McCoughtry. Atlanta’s offense was almost non-existant as everyone tried to beat Indiana by themselves. Angel McCoughtry scored two points in the whole second half.
Minnesota and Seattle provided another thrilling game which went down to the final shot. Lindsay Whalen fell on her hand, injuring her wrist in the first quarter – she returned to the game, but was visibly affected by the injury. It would be a major loss if she were not able to play against Los Angeles. Similarly to game two, Lynx got nice leads in the first and third quarters which they would later blow in the subsequent second and fourth ones. Sue Bird made two three pointers in the final three minutes of regulation. Final shot went to Lauren Jackson, who missed her turnaround jumper with around 2 seconds remaining.
It’s not likely that Jackson will be able to join Canberra Capitals as soon as the team’s fans would wish. According to ESPN’s Holly Rowe, who spoke to Jackson prior to game 2, she will undergo a procedure on her back now that the season has ended and will need some time to rehab. Considering that Sue Bird is not needed at Ekaterinburg until New Year’s it’s very likely she will undergo surgery on her hip. After the end of previous season, Bird had surgery on the other hip and was ready for her season in Europe by the end of December.
Western conference finals will start the next round on Thursday. Eastern conference will follow them on Friday.
Atlanta Dream – Indiana Fever 64-75
Dream: Harding 17, McCoughtry 16, Lyttle 10
Fever: Douglas 24, Catchings 16 (11 reb), Larkins 16 (20 reb), January 16
Indiana wins the series 2-1.
Seattle Storm – Minnesota Lynx 72-73
Storm: Bird 19, Little 17, Wright 11, Smith 9, Jackson 9
Lynx: Augustus 21, Moore 20, Brunson 16
Minnesota wins the series 2-1.