INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Kelsey Mitchell scored 24 points, Aliyah Boston had eight of her 19 in a game-closing 18-2 run and the Indiana Fever closed the regular season with an 87-72 win over the Minnesota Lynx on Sunday.
The loss dropped the Lynx (19-21) into a three-way tie for fifth place with Atlanta and Washington with Minnesota ending up as the sixth seeded. The Lynx travel to No. 3 Connecticut to open the playoffs on Wednesday.
Although Indiana (13-21) will have the best chance of getting the No. 1 pick in the draft lottery, the Fever finished with more wins that the last two seasons combined (11). They also have the presumptive Rookie of the Year in Boston, who became the only player ever with 500 points, 300 rebounds, 50 steals, 50 assists and 50 blocks in her rookie season.
Boston also had 12 rebounds with Nalyssa Smith also getting a double-double with 16points and 10 rebounds.
Boston was 9 of 13 from the field, finishing the season at 57.8%, a rookie record for players with at least 100 baskets.
Kayla McBride scored 24 points and Napheesa Collier 23 with 10 rebounds for Minnesota,
Indiana got off to a red-hot start, leading 32-22 after one quarter and 56-44 at the half as Mitchell poured in 19 points and Smith 14.
The Lynx stormed back, outscoring Minnesota 19-7 in the third quarter, tying the game when McBride and Collier scored in the final minute.
McBride’s 3-pointer gave the Lynx a 70-69 lead with 7:28 to play but Boston responded with three-straight Fever baskets. McBride cut the deficit to 75-72 with two free throws at 3:54 but Minnesota had four misses and four turnovers on its last eight possessions.