After using their depth to snap one of their longest losing streaks of the season, the Indiana Fever might have to rely on it again as they try to secure a piece of team history and head into the playoffs with some momentum.
That's because the status of three starters is unknown for Sunday's regular-season finale against the visiting Tulsa Shock.Katie Douglas was recovering from an illness and sat out Friday's game at Washington, as did guards Shavonte Zellous and Briann January while dealing with concussion symptoms. Reserve Karima Christmas left in the second quarter for undisclosed reasons and didn't return.In their places, Erin Phillips scored a season-high 19 points in a 66-53 win, and Jessica Davenport added 14 as Indiana (21-12) avoided a season-high fourth straight loss."It's like good news, bad news. The bad news is we've got some people sick or hurt. But the good news is that gives all these other players quality time in a very competitive situation," coach Lin Dunn said. "We're playing to win. We feel like this is gonna help our bench going into the playoffs."With this game virtually meaningless, Dunn may want to rest her injured players and that means the reserves might have to step up again if the Fever want to match their franchise-record 22 wins from 2009. Indiana advanced to the WNBA finals that year and finished one victory short of a title.The Fever will face Atlanta in the first round of this year's postseason, beginning Friday at home, but first will try to post a fifth straight victory over Tulsa (9-24).Indiana escaped Oklahoma with a 73-70 win over the Shock on June 23 by scoring six of the game's final nine points. Tamika Catchings, who hit two late free throws, had a team-best 16 points, and Glory Johnson scored 22 for Tulsa.The Shock enter this matchup after their longest win streak in three seasons in Tulsa came to an end Saturday. They had won three straight before blowing a 10-point halftime lead in a 91-74 loss at New York, getting outscored 24-9 in the third quarter.Johnson was the only starter in double figures with 11 points, and Ivory Latta had a team-best 16.Tulsa is seeking to record double-digit victories for the first time since relocating from Detroit after the 2009 season. The Shock's current win total matches their output from each of the previous two campaigns.