While the WNBA-leading Minnesota Lynx recently took a step back, they are hoping a key win last time out will help get them going again.
Minnesota tries for a two-game season sweep of the Fever on Saturday night as these teams meet at the Target Center for the first time since last year's WNBA Finals.
The Lynx (19-7) had won 10 in a row before dropping a season-high three straight and four of five, but they bounced back with a 91-77 victory at Connecticut on Thursday. Rebekkah Brunson had a season-high 24 points and pulled down 11 of Minnesota's 26 rebounds.
"Connecticut definitely got our best effort, which we haven't been putting forth lately," said Brunson, averaging a team-leading 9.2 boards. "We knew we had to change our mentality with the way we've been playing."
Seimone Augustus contributed 18 points and Maya Moore added 17 for the Lynx, who saw each starter score at least 11. Minnesota shot 57.6 percent and outscored the Sun 50-34 in the paint.
"Give Minnesota a lot of credit. Their starters, are, in particular, very skilled offensively, very confident," Sun coach Anne Donovan said.
The Lynx will try to carry that confidence into the matchup with the Fever (12-14), whom they beat 69-62 on July 11 behind a combined 45 points from Lindsay Whalen and Monica Wright. While Minnesota has taken four consecutive regular-season meetings in the series, Indiana got the best of coach Cheryl Reeve's team in the WNBA Finals last year.
The Fever endured an 0-3 road trip before regrouping with an 80-63 rout of San Antonio on Wednesday. Zellous (plantar fasciitis) returned from a four-game absence to score 11 of her 20 points in the fourth quarter and Tamika Catchings finished with 19.
Indiana scored 28 points off the Silver Stars' 21 turnovers and held a 34-24 edge in the paint.
"Thank God," Catchings said of Zellous' return. "Every game I've been asking her, 'Are you playing? Are you playing? Is today the day?'"
"I think for us, we just have to keep building off of what we already have done, what we know we're capable of doing. Just got to make the playoffs."
Indiana finds itself in a three-team race with Washington and New York for the final two playoff berths in the Eastern Conference. The Fever are seeking their ninth consecutive postseason appearance.
"If you wanna get in the playoffs, you have to win right now," coach Lin Dunn said. "We've got this cluster of three teams trying to get those spots, and we like the fact that we have a history of being in the playoffs."
Indiana hasn't dropped four straight on the road since a five-game losing streak in 2008.
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- Minnesota Lynx
- Indiana Fever
- Shavonte Zellous