12:00 PM ET, July 11, 2013
Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, IN
Following a big home win over the WNBA's current top team, the Minnesota Lynx are hoping to be at full strength as they try to knock off the defending champions.Seimone Augustus likely will be a game-time decision for the Lynx on Thursday when they visit the Indiana Fever in the teams' first meeting since Indiana won the 2012 WNBA Finals.Playing without its second-leading scorer, Minnesota (9-3) rolled to its second straight victory -- routing Atlanta 94-72 on Tuesday in a battle between the league's two best clubs.Monica Wright filled the void of Augustus' absence with a season-high 22 points. Wright, who recently confirmed her engagement to Oklahoma City star Kevin Durant, has totaled 39 points on 13-of-22 shooting and six steals in the last two games.Lindsay Whalen added 20 points and Maya Moore, the team's leading scorer at 17.5 per game, chipped in 19."(Wright) was great and it's not a surprise to us when she steps into the starting lineup and does this for us," said Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve. "She was really pleased with her defense and her overall game. And this game was for Seimone."Reeve said Augustus, who sprained her left ankle in Sunday's win over Phoenix, will travel with the team as it begins a four-game road trip to Indiana, Tulsa, San Antonio and Phoenix, but gave no timetable for her return. If the 2011 WNBA Finals MVP is unable to play, Minnesota may need another solid effort from Wright against an Indiana team that has been tough on the defensive end.The Fever (4-7) limited Connecticut to 23 first-half points en route to a 78-66 home win Saturday and has held opponents to 66.0 points per game during their season-best three game winning streak.Tamika Catchings, who averaged 22.3 points against the Lynx while earning WNBA Finals MVP last year, has keyed her team's recent resurgence. She's scored 22.7 points per game on 47.6 percent shooting over the past three contests after missing the previous two because of a lower back injury.Catchings also matched a season high with six steals in Saturday's win and is second in the league with 3.2 per game."It's what we've talked about a lot -- just getting better as a team," Catchings said. "The progression the last three or four games, you sort of see people coming out of their shells."Injuries, however, have prevented Indiana from getting back to a championship level. Katie Douglas (back), Erin Phillips (torn right meniscus), Jeanette Pohlen (torn left ACL) and Jessica Davenport (left tibia stress fracture) are all currently sidelined.While the Lynx rank near the top of the WNBA with 83.8 points per game while shooting 44.9 percent, they've averaged 62.5 points on 35.1 percent shooting -- including 3 for 24 from 3-point range -- while losing their last two road contests by a combined 58 points.Minnesota won at Indiana during the 2012 regular season, but lost both contests there during the WNBA Finals.