The Phoenix Mercury advanced to the next round of the WNBA Playoffs with an 89-78 victory over the Indiana Fever on Wednesday night in the new single-elimination format. The Mercury move on to face the New York Liberty on Saturday, and the Fever’s loss meant it was the last game in the storied career of Tamika Catchings.
Unsurprisingly, the duo of Diana Taurasi and Brittney Griner led the way for Phoenix. Taurasi scored 20 points, making all nine of her free throws in the process, and she also had three rebounds and three assists. Griner dominated down low, scoring 18 points and grabbing nine rebounds to go along with her three blocks. But the difference came off the bench from DeWanna Bonner, who scored 18 points in 25 minutes of action while going 7-for-12 from the field.
The Mercury hit 54.5 percent of their shots and held the Fever to just 37.2 percent shooting. Indiana actually led the game by three at halftime, but Phoenix dominated the second half.
For Indiana, Catchings finished her career with a double-double, scoring 13 points and grabbing 10 rebounds (six of which were offensive). But around her, Briann January shot just 4-for-13 from the field and Shenise Johnson went 0-for-8 from three-point range.
After the game, players from both teams showed respect for Catchings, who had announced that she would be hanging her shoes up following the Fever’s elimination from the postseason:
— Indiana Fever (@IndianaFever) September 22, 2016
Catchings was also honored before the game:
— Indiana Fever (@IndianaFever) September 21, 2016
Catchings goes down as one of the best WNBA players of all time after 15 years with Indiana. She won one title, one Finals MVP and one regular-season MVP. She also won four Olympic gold medals as a member of Team USA.