It has been an exciting ride for the Fever this year, after they had reached 1 – 7 at one point, before finally returning to their original form, and finally reaching 5 - 8.
A 77 – 70 victory over the Washington Mystics tonight brought them to 6 – 8, moving them into fourth place in the Eastern division.
Add to that the news that Tamika Catchings had been voted a starter in the WNBA All-Star game, which will be coached by Fever coach Lin Dunn, and you've got the makings of a fairy tale comeback story. All you need is Tom Berenger, Charlie Sheen, and a pissed-off Jobu doll, and we're looking at a decent shot at making the playoffs again. With 20 more games to play, that's a real possibility.
"The WNBA's not a marathon like the NBA," Dunn told the Associated Press. "It's a sprint. Every game is so important. There's really no game that's more important than another."
In tonight's game, Shavonte Zellous was the points leader, with 16 points and 4 rebounds, while Erlana Larkins and Briann January each had 12 points. Larkins also had 9 rebounds.
Zellous is also proving to be one of the iron ladies of the game. She's always moving, always making something happen, and even after going down after catching a knee in the thigh, she was back later to help lead the final comeback and go-ahead.
The Fever were tied at the half before the Mystics started the second half with 10 unanswered points. Things were not looking good, but they also weren't out of reach. Her scoring brought the team back, and then put them ahead after she followed a 3-pointer by January.
"We needed this win because we play them again on Sunday," Zellous told the AP. "I think we did a great job of sticking together and coming back to get this win."
Some notable plays and efforts:
- Near the end of the game, Zellous chased down a ball that took her up to the 4th row into section 17, my section. She actually had to put her hands onto some people's heads in the 5th row to keep from falling over.
- At one point, I was pretty sure Erlana Larkins was going to go all Hulk Hogan on the Mystics. Do you remember when the Hulkster used to get angry during a bout. He would glare up at the sky, jut out his chin, breathe heavily, and shake his 24" arms with rage. There were two times, I fully expected Larkins to Hulk out on someone on the court.
- This marks the first time Erin Phillips has been back on the floor, which meant Erin Thorn was no longer with the team. She was only meant to be a fill-in until Phillips or Katie Douglas returned. I'm glad she was able to make an important contribution, and if the Fever make it to the playoffs again, she played an important part in it.
Finally, tonight was also autograph night in the gift shop, and we got Erlana Larkins and Jessica Breland's autograph. Nice end.
If you want to see the Hulk Hogan reference I mentioned, fast forward to 32:50. I think Erlana Larkins was going to do that.
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