The foot injury that kept Tamika Catchings out of the Indiana Fever lineup for 13 regular-season games has turned out to be a blessing in the playoffs.
While Catchings was recovering, Anna DeForge was changing from a good, but reluctant, shooter to a game-changing scorer. DeForge scored 26 points yesterday to help the Fever defeat the visiting Connecticut Sun, 78-59, and tie their Eastern Conference first-round series at one game apiece.
Catchings had 15 points and 13 rebounds for the Fever in her second game back from the injury, but DeForge was the difference.
"You just have a mentality where you knew you had to step up," DeForge said. "If you're out there and you're aggressive, you're more of a threat. I think everybody else on the team had that same attitude."
It was Indiana's first win against the Sun in six tries this season. The Fever will host the decisive Game 3 tomorrow night.
Katie Douglas, Connecticut's leading scorer during the regular season, led the Sun with 11 points. She is shooting 9 for 33 from the field in the series.
"They were running two, sometimes three people at me," Douglas said. "I've got to do a better job of finding somebody. Stuff we were able to get in the regular season, we're not able to get right now."
Connecticut's Nykesha Sales was held to 5 points after scoring 25 Thursday.
"Our best shooters didn't make shots," Connecticut coach Mike Thibault said. "They used Tully Bevilaqua to run around and double-team everybody, and dared Lindsay [Whalen] to shoot. She didn't shoot well and put us behind the 8-ball a little bit. Nobody else picked up the slack for her, and all of a sudden, you're down 19."
Whalen finished with 6 points on 1-for-9 shooting.
Silver Stars 86, Monarchs 61 -- At San Antonio, Becky Hammon had 20 points to help the Silver Stars tie their Western Conference series with Sacramento.
Hammon, who had 15 points in the first half, finished 7 for 11 from the field.
Rebekkah Brunson led the Monarchs with 18 points and eight rebounds, and Kristin Haynie added 15 points.
The deciding game will be tomorrow night in San Antonio.
Marie Ferdinand-Harris had 17 off the bench, and Sophia Young added 12 for San Antonio. Reserves scored 38 points for the Silver Stars, who hosted their first playoff game since the franchise moved from Utah in 2003.