INDIANAPOLIS — The Indiana Fever practiced Saturday, the day before Game 4 of the WNBA Finals.
The Minnesota Lynx? They partied.
After their mandatory 30-minute appearance for media interviews, the defending- champion Lynx had a birthday party for center Taj McWilliams-Franklin, who turned 42. Coach Cheryl Reeve normally didn’t require her players to practice the day before a game this season, preferring that they rest. So even on the brink of elimination, down 2-1 in the best-of-five series, the Lynx followed their routine.
Lynx players did watch video of their 76-59 drubbing by Indiana on Friday. The visitors at Bankers Life Fieldhouse had about as much of winning that game as the Christians had of escaping the lions in the Coliseum. Indiana led by a playoffs-record 37 points late in the third quarter.
“That should never happen in the WNBA Finals. Ever,” Reeve said.
Guard Shavonte Zellous of the Fever torched the Lynx for 30 points. She averaged 7.5 points during the regular season. On Saturday, when the Lynx walked into the Fever’s practice gym for their interviews, Zellous walked over to Reeve and gave her a prolonged hug. Zellous was a player and Reeve an assistant with Detroit in 2008.
Reeve probably needed the hug. She was exceptionally brief and guarded Friday in her postgame comments.
Are you upset?
“Not upset. Ready to move on,” Reeve said.
As is the Fever, despite being down to nine healthy players. Katie Douglas, its second-leading scorer, was getting treatment Saturday for a sprained left ankle and did not practice. She has not played in the Finals yet, and unless there is a Game 5 on Wednesday in Minneapolis, probably won’t.
Backup guard Jeanette Pohlen, meanwhile, is definitely out. She has a torn ACL in her left knee. Pohlen, who was injured in Game 2, will have offseason surgery.
“Them being down two players has nothing to do with anything,” Lynx forward Rebekkah Brunson said. “They have been playing well without them.”