Kelsey Mitchell scored 13 of her team-high 26 points in a 36-point second quarter and put the Indiana Fever ahead for good in the fourth in an 82-76 home win over the winless Minnesota Lynx on Tuesday night in Indianapolis.
Ex-Minnesota guard Crystal Dangerfield scored 10 points for the Fever (1-2), who committed 10 first-quarter turnovers and trailed by nine after one.
However, Indiana opened the second quarter on a 17-4 run, which included a 10-0 sprint to grab a 29-25 lead. Mitchell provided 10 points early in the run as Indiana went on to lead 48-39 at halftime.
The 36 points marked the Fever’s third highest-scoring quarter in team history. Indiana, though, fell behind again and trailed 70-69 midway through the fourth quarter when Mitchell knocked down her fourth 3-pointer with 4:59 left in regulation to take the lead for good.
Sylvia Fowles recorded 26 points and 14 rebounds for Minnesota (0-3), which opened with three consecutive losses for a second straight season. The Lynx missed their first seven 3-pointers until Rachel Banham (14 points) hit three during an 11-0 third-quarter run that got the visitors within 51-50.
Back-to-back baskets from Minnesota’s Bridget Carleton and Jessica Shepard tied the game at 54-54 with 3:32 left in the third. The Fever led 65-58 after three, but the Lynx scored 11 of the first 13 points in the fourth and twice took the lead before Mitchell’s 3.
The Lynx shot 41.6 percent for the night, while Indiana was at 44.3 but made 9 of 20 3-point tries.
The Lynx missed their first seven field-goal attempts and trailed 8-4 following a bucket from Indiana rookie Destanni Henderson. However, Minnesota quickly found its form and took advantage of some sloppy Indiana play while embarking on a 13-0 run.
All six of Fowles’ first-quarter points came during that run, and Minnesota benefited from Fever’s inability to hold on to the basketball for a 21-12 edge after a quarter.
Minnesota has been without key contributors Napheesa Collier (pregnancy) and Kayla McBride (overseas). Odyssey Sims, who played the Lynx’s first two games, was not with the team due to an undisclosed reason.
–Field Level Media