Catchings, entire Fever team kneel during national anthem


INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Diana Taurasi scored 20 points, DeWanna Bonner had 11 of her 18 points in the fourth quarter and the Phoenix Mercury beat the Indiana Fever 89-78 on Wednesday night in a single-elimination game of the WNBA playoffs.

Tamika Catchings, who played in her final game, and the entire Indiana team knelt with their arms intertwined during the national anthem. Two members of the Mercury, Kelsey Bone and Mistie Bass, also took a knee.

Briann January made a reverse layup with 2:39 remaining to pull Indiana to 77-72 and she drew an offensive foul on Taurasi on the other end. Erlana Larkins had a putback on Indiana's next possession to cap a 10-1 run to make it 77-74.

But Phoenix answered with a 6-1 run - on free throws by Taurasi, Penny Taylor and Bonner - for an 83-75 lead.

Brittney Griner added 18 points, nine rebounds and three blocks for Phoenix, which will play at New York on Saturday.

Catchings and Marissa Coleman each scored 13 points as all five starters for Indiana scored in double figures.

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Earlier story:

The Indiana Fever host the Phoenix Mercury in the WNBA playoffs tonight.

Tamika Catchings, who's retiring after this season, received the WNBA Kim Perrot Sportsmanship Award prior to the game.

The Fever were up 38-35 at the half, and Catchings had 8 points, three rebounds and two steals.

The entire Fever team kneeled during the National Anthem before the start of the game. Two Mercury players also took a knee. Fever coach Stephanie White said she was proud the players are unified, calling it "a respectful way to affect social change."

Tamika @Catchin24 warms up for potential last game for @IndianaFever. One game playoff vs @PhoenixMercury tonight.