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Fever look to cool off Sun, MVP hopeful Alyssa Thomas

May 19, 2023; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Connecticut Sun head coach Stephanie White talks to Connecticut Sun forward Alyssa Thomas (25) in the first half against the Indiana Fever at Gainbridge Fieldhouse. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

The Connecticut Sun are locked into the No. 3 seed in the WNBA playoffs as they host the Indiana Fever on Friday night.

The Sun (26-12) are trying to establish momentum for the postseason while the Fever (12-26) have been eliminated from playoff contention.

Connecticut is coming off a 90-76 home win against the Los Angeles Sparks on Tuesday while the Fever look to bounce back from their worst loss of the season, a 96-69 home defeat to the Chicago Sky the same night.

Alyssa Thomas led the Sun with 27 points, 14 assists and 12 rebounds against L.A. as she set league records with 304 assists and six triple-doubles for the season.

“Even myself as a coach, you have to intentionally tell yourself to not take these moments for granted,” Connecticut coach Stephanie White said. “It just seems so routine that Alyssa Thomas gets a triple-double or close to a triple-double or a double-double. It’s not routine, it’s exceptional.

“And to me, that’s what an MVP is. No one does what she does, no one’s putting up the amount of numbers that she’s putting up across the board and doing what she does on the defensive end of the floor.”

Indiana could have a difficult time slowing down Thomas because it’s missing two of its best defensive players in Lexie Hull (shoulder) and Kristy Wallace (knee).

“Both Kristy and Lexie drew the best offensive players on the opposing team,” Fever coach Christie Sides said. “And then, Kristy Wallace has been such a great playmaker, she’s been shooting the ball so well. But this is a sport, this is what we do. Injuries happen. You just have to have people ready to step up.”

Indiana fell behind 18-9 after one quarter and 49-34 at halftime and never recovered against the Sky. NaLyssa Smith led the Fever with 16 points and seven rebounds.

“We were deflated early,” Sides said. “We couldn’t get stops. We didn’t get a good feel, and it really showed on both ends.”

–Field Level Media

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