Indianapolis – The Lynx remained in control of their playoff seeding by rallying to beat Indiana 80-69 on Wednesday night at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
The win gives the Lynx (25-7) a one-game lead over the idle Los Angeles Sparks (24-8) for the WNBA’s best record.
If they win their final two games — both at home — the Lynx will secure the No. 1 seed for the playoffs and home-court advantage throughout the postseason. If the Sparks tie the Lynx, L.A. would get the top seed because the first tiebreaker — head-to-head record — goes to the Sparks.
“We’re on a mission to accomplish a goal that we’re in control of, in terms of our destiny,” Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve said. “… We’re happy to get win No. 25.”
Maya Moore scored 18 points and Sylvia Fowles had 12 points and 13 rebounds to lead the Lynx against Indiana.
But the game didn’t start well for the Lynx. The Fever, which lost to the Lynx by a league-record 59 points Aug. 18, started this game sizzling hot. It made 10 of its first 11 shots, including four three-pointers, to take a 23-15 lead 5 minutes, 14 seconds into the game.
“Not the first five minutes we would have liked defensively,” Moore said. “Not that we were terrible, but just didn’t do enough to really slow them down.”
A 10-0 run put the Lynx ahead 40-32 with three minutes left in the first half.
Indiana (9-24), long out of playoff contention and losers in 16 of their past 18 games, closed within 63-61 in the fourth quarter before the Lynx went on an 11-0 run to pull away. Rookie Alexis Jones had four points in that run.
“We had to really start the fourth quarter and really commit to our defense,” Reeve said. “I thought it gave us the separation.”
Indiana was just 4-for-18 in the final quarter and scored only eight points.
Erica Wheeler led the Fever with 17 points and seven assists, Candice Dupree had 15 points and 10 rebounds.
“They made runs and big shots, but we never got rattled,” Fever coach Pokey Chatman said. “Obviously, they’re the best team in the league, but I’m proud of some of the things we did.”
Reeve could say those last words about her team, too. The Lynx won 25 games for the sixth time in seven years.