INDIANAPOLIS—In describing her team just before the end of the season, Lin Dunn said it was the high level of energy to which the Fever played that would cause big leds to occasionally disappear.
This was a common trait of the team who many times would hold on for a victory having a lopsided game come down to a few possessions in the final minutes.
So it would figure in an elimination game in the first round of the WNBA Playoffs that the Fever would continue their pattern from the regular season. But in the final minutes of their Game Three matchup with the Liberty, they left no doubt in the final.
With a double digit lead cut to three with seven minutes to play, the Fever went out on a 15-5 run to take control and send themselves off to the Eastern Conference finals with a 72-62 win at Conseco Fieldhouse.
Indiana will face third-seed Atlanta, who beat Connecticut in their first round series, for a right to play in the WNBA Finals. Game one is scheduled for Thursday night at Conseco Fieldhouse.
Advancing there seemed to be no problem with the team jumped out to a 13-point lead early in the third quarter when Katie Douglas connected on three of her game-high 21 points. But New York had an answer and a comeback in them and when Essence Carson hit a layup with 7:11 to go, the Fever's lead was down to three.
But the Fever owned the contest from there. Jessica Davenport hit a jumper and two free throws to push out the lead to seven, then Tamika Catchings added five of her 17 points to bring it over double digits.
Katie Douglas then scored six of her game-high 21 points consecutively to ice the game away and send the Fever off to the next round of the playoffs.
The intensity of that final quarter was evident throughout the entire game, with a major example coming in the first quarter. Fighting for a rebound, Catchings and Liberty forward Nicole Powell got tangled up and hit the floor hard. A few seconds later, the pair had a verbal exchange and each were assessed a technical foul.
Following that incident, the Fever found life and got out to as much as a 13-point lead in the second quarter. Like in the second half, the Liberty fought back to tie the game at 36 before the Fever added four free throws for a halftime advantage.