Indiana snaps Lynx's 7-game winning streak
MINNEAPOLIS—Natalie Achonwa recorded 17 points and nine rebounds to help the WNBA-worst Indiana Fever post a stunning 71-59 road victory over the defending champion Minnesota Lynx on Tuesday night at Target Center in Minneapolis.
Victoria Vivians added 13 points as the Fever (2-16) snapped a six-game losing streak. Cappie Pondexter had 12 points in 21 minutes off the bench despite 4-for-13 shooting in her Indiana debut.
Rebekkah Brunson had 13 points, 12 rebounds and six assists for Minnesota (10-7), which had its seven-game winning streak snapped. Maya Moore was just 3-for-15 shooting and held to nine points.
The Lynx struggled offensively from the outset and shot just 32.8 percent from the field, including 6 of 21 from 3-point range. Minnesota was 9 of 15 from the free-throw line.
Indiana shot 39.1 percent from the field and 4 of 15 from long range. The Fever were 13 of 18 from the line.
A three-point play by Temi Fagbenle allowed Minnesota to knot the score at 51 with 8:05 to play. But Pondexter and Kelsey Mitchell converted back-to-back 3-point plays and Achonwa followed with a layup to give Indiana a 59-51 lead with 5:51 remaining.
The Lynx pulled within 61-57 on Moore's 3-pointer with 4:52 to play. But Vivians drained a 3-pointer 27 seconds later to start the decisive game-ending 10-2 burst as the Fever closed out an impressive performance.
Minnesota led 39-36 after a basket by Sylvia Fowles with 7:03 left in the third quarter before Indiana rolled off 11 straight points. Candice Dupree ended the burst with a jumper to give the Fever a 47-39 advantage with 2:02 left.
The Lynx scored the next seven before Tiffany Mitchell drove for a basket with 4.6 seconds left to allow Indiana to take a 49-46 edge into the final stanza.
Both teams shot just 32.4 percent in the first half with Indiana leading 34-32 at the break.
The Fever dominated the first six-plus minutes of the game and led 19-8 after Vivians hit a 3-pointer with 3:38 left in the quarter. Minnesota responded with a 14-2 burst that saw it take a 22-21 lead on a 3-pointer by Alexis Jones that represented the first points of the second quarter.
Indiana responded with nine straight points for an eight-point lead before the Lynx finished with a 10-4 spurt to draw within two at intermission.