Dream force a game three; Lynx take first Western Conference championship

Oh, what an afternoon.

The Dream came out strong and capitalized on Fever turnovers and poor shooting, and took the game, 94-77.

Tamika Catchings came down on her right foot funky at the fourth quater 4:54 mark, and had to be carried off the floor by teammates. She did not return to the game. It was quite a sight – the entire Indiana squad surrounding their MVP on the court when she was still down. And Catchings left the floor with a towel over her head, which is never a good sign.

In the Fever post-game interview, Coach Lin Dunn said the problem wasn’t with Catchings’ right Achilles tendon, which she had surgically repaired four years ago. Dunn called it “a right foot issue” and said Catchings would be evaluated tomorrow.

Game three in the series will be 8 p.m. EDT Tuesday, in Indianapolis.

Next up was the Minnesota-Phoenix game. Let’s start with the box score, and a salute to 40’s women: 21 points, seven assists and six rebounds for 40-year-old Lynx center Taj McWilliams-Franklin. Rookie Maya Moore, 18 years her junior, had 21 points, five assists and seven rebounds. Diana Taurasi and DeWanna Bonner each recorded 22 for Phoenix in the Lynx’ 103-86 win. This is the first Western Conference championship for Minnesota.

“Superhero” McWilliams-Franklin was already savoring the season. (Love that picture of her game face)

Minnesota gets a week off before the Finals begin. Here’s the schedule:

Game 1, Sunday, Oct. 2 at Minnesota, 3:30 p.m., ESPN2
Game 2, Wednesday, Oct. 5 at Minnesota, 7:00 p.m., ESPN2
Game 3, Friday, Oct. 7 at Atlanta/Indiana, 7:00 p.m., ESPN2
** Game 4, Sunday, Oct. 9 at Atlanta/Indiana, 3:30 p.m., ESPN2
** Game 5, Wednesday, Oct. 12 at Minnesota, 7:00 p.m., ESPN2

Footnote on Bonner:

I respect the game of the Mercury’s 6-foot-4 forward, who has won the league’s “sixth woman” award for the last three consecutive years. She was everywhere today – outside, inside. She took some improbable drives to the basket that were just gutsy. Bonner did everything she could for her team.

It’s easy to underestimate her because of her size: she’s 137 pounds. But time and time again, Bonner has shown that she has the heart of a lion. I think someday soon she’ll be one of the first five women instead of the sixth one.

Footnotes on Catchings:

Immediately after the injury, WNBA players from around the league began expressing their concern and well-wishes on Twitter. Fifty minutes ago, Catchings “tweeted” herself:

“No feeling bad 4 me- Gods got me!!….Thanks for all the prayers don’t stop those : )”