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2011 Conference Finals Game 1 Notes and Quotes: Fever prevails over Dream, Lynx beat Mercury

Published on September 23, 2011


In last night’s first games of the 2011 WNBA Conference Finals, home court advantage served teams well as the Indiana Fever beat the visiting Atlanta Dream 82-74 and the Minnesota Lynx defeated the Phoenix Mercury 95-67.

While the Fever-Dream matchup was a close one for much of the game with the Dream taking a first quarter and half time lead, the Lynx beat the Mercury in a definitive fashion with Seimone Augustus leading the charge and finishing with 21 points and seven assists. Every single Lynx player scored in the game and five were in double figures.

For the Fever, Tangela Smith led the way with 25 points, a postseason career-high and included a Fever franchise record five three-point field goals, which are her most ever in a WNBA playoff game. Her performance marked the first time Smith scored 20-plus points in a playoff game since 2004.

“We brought Tan (Tangela Smith) to the team to shoot threes,” said Fever coach Lin Dunn. “She has free reign on threes. Defensively we did the things we needed to do to win. We matched their physical play. And the fans…I want to thank the fans and I hope they don’t have to come back because we hope to take care of it in Atlanta.”

Before the Fever-Dream game, Tamika Catchings received the league’s 2011 MVP Award.

Notes and Quotes from the Fever-Dream Game

  • The win was the Fever’s first against the Dream since August of last year, ending a run of four straight wins by the Dream, its longest winning streak ever against the Fever.
  • With 12 points and a game-high 13 rebounds, Tamika Catchings registered the 15th double-double of her postseason career.
  • Having shot just 9-17 from the foul line tonight, the Dream posted the second lowest free throw percentage (.529) by a Fever opponent in a playoff game. The all-time record was Detroit’s .471 (8-17) in 2007.
  • Atlanta outscored the Fever, 20-5, in fast break points. That is just the third time that an Indiana opponent has scored 20-plus points on the break in 2011. In the previous two games that an opponent scored 20-plus points, the Dream scored 24 points at Atlanta on July 19, and another 24 points at Philips Arena on August 30.
  • Atlanta’s 13 steals are the most ever by a Fever opponent in a playoff game and the Dream outscored Indiana, 20-12, in points off turnovers.
  • Indiana outrebounded the Dream, 41-38, matching its third most rebounds ever in a playoff game.

Fever Head Coach Lin Dunn

“We had two keys to the game tonight. One, we wanted keep it close on the boards and two, we wanted to get to the free throw line. We committed a few too many turnovers, but compensated for that by getting to the free throw line. This was a huge team victory. I’m very happy for the players.

Dream Head Coach Marynell Meadors

“We’ve had our backs to the wall before. We’ve had adversity. We’ve had to jump over hurdles. We will be ready Sunday.”

On Angel McCoughtry

“She got a lot of fouls. She didn’t get a chance to get in her game.”

On Lindsey Harding

“She is a solid and well balanced player. She will run our offense.”

Notes and Video from the Lynx-Mercury Game

  • The Lynx are just a win away from reaching the WNBA Finals for the first time in franchise history. With the win, the Lynx improved to 3-0 at home this postseason, following their regular season success at home (franchise record 14 wins). Tonight’s 28-point win was the largest in Lynx postseason victory and the largest loss of the season for the Mercury. Their 95 points were also a franchise postseason record.
  • The attendance of 8,912 is Minnesota’s ninth consecutive home game dating back to the regular season with a crowd of 8,000 or more. Minnesota is averaging 9,846 during their first three playoff games this year, tops in the WNBA. This season is Minnesota’s sixth consecutive with an improved attendance.
  • After scoring just two points in Minnesota’s first three playoff games, Candice Wiggins was a spark off the bench for the Lynx. Wiggins scored 14 points, including four three-pointers. She finished the regular season with five games with at least four three-pointers (Lynx 5-0).
  • Entering the game second in the league in shooting during her first postseason, Seimone Augustus scored 21 points tonight on 8-of-14 shooting. Augustus has topped the 20-point mark three times this postseason after surpassing it nine times during the regular season.
  • After a breaking out last game with a 15-point, 9-rebound performance, Rebekkah Brunson posted a solid effort, tallying her first double-double since July 13 vs. Phoenix (16 points, 16 rebounds). Brunson finished the game with 13 points and grabbed 13 rebounds.

Video: Lynx Coach Cheryl Reeve Post-game

Game 2 of the Conference Finals

  • Indiana at Atlanta, Sunday, Sept. 25, 3 PM ET – ESPN2
  • Minnesota at Phoenix, Sunday, Sept. 25, 5 PM ET – ESPN2
Finals ScheduleGame 1 – Sunday, October 2, 2011
Game 2 – Wednesday, October 5, 2011
Game 3 – Friday, October 7, 2011
Game 4* –  Sunday, October 9, 2011
Game 5* – Wednesday, October 12, 2011


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