Aliyah Boston highlighted her 19-point, 12-rebound performance by scoring 12 of those points in a pressure-packed fourth quarter as the Indiana Fever earned an 87-72 victory over the visiting Minnesota Lynx on Sunday in Indianapolis.
Kelsey Mitchell led all Indiana scorers with 24 points, including 19 in the first half, while NaLyssa Smith scored 16 as the Fever (13-27) snapped a two-game losing streak to end the season on a positive note. Indiana won three of four games against Minnesota this season.
Napheesa Collier tallied 23 points and 10 rebounds for the Lynx (19-21), who fell short of their bid to move from the sixth seed to the fifth for the WNBA playoffs. Kayla McBride scored 24 as Minnesota goes into the postseason caught in the grip of a two-game losing streak.
While the Fever prevailed, it did not come easy despite leading 56-44 at halftime.
Victoria Vivians made an open 3-pointer to increase Indiana’s lead to 13 with 9:01 left in the third quarter, but the Fever struggled the remainder of the period as Minnesota used a 17-4 run that was fueled by Collier, who hit a jumper to tie the score at 63-63 going into the fourth.
Then Boston took over and hit one of her biggest shots with 6:18 remaining on a pullup jumper that put the Fever up 73-70. Boston scored again with 4:09 left, driving inside for a layup for a 75-70 advantage.
McBride made 2 of 3 free throws to bring the Lynx back within three, but they were held scoreless for the final 3:54 of the game.
Indiana led by double digits for the first time with just over a minute left in the opening quarter as Mitchell hit a shot for a 30-18 lead. The Fever led 32-22 after one.
Minnesota kept it interesting as McBride’s jumper closed the gap to 36-28 with 6:55 left. Diamond Miller’s two free throws at the 4:04 mark brought the Lynx within five at 38-33.
Back-to-back 3-pointers from Mitchell and Erica Wheeler closed out a first half where Indiana shot 62.9 percent from the floor.