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The Journal Gazette

October 14, 2015 1:01 AM

Fever's Catchings feels urgency

Associated Press

MINNEAPOLIS – Before the Indiana Fever embarked on their 11th consecutive trip to the WNBA playoffs, veteran star Tamika Catchings handed out a journal to every one of her teammates to document their journey.

The message was simple: For as routine as these trips have come for the Fever, it was so important to soak up the opportunities because you never know when they will present themselves again.

The 36-year-old Catchings announced long ago that she only has one more season left in her brilliant career, so that sense of urgency for her has never been greater as the Fever enter the deciding Game 5 of the WNBA Finals against the Minnesota Lynx tonight.

“You never know,” Catchings said Tuesday, two days after the Fever sent the series back to Minnesota with a win in Game 4. “I said that I’m going to come back next year and would love the opportunity to play. But we still have a long time before next year comes. So you really do take advantage of every single opportunity.”

Lindsey Whalen can relate. The Lynx point guard doesn’t appear to be ready to say when her own accomplished career will come to an end, but the 33-year-old star has been slowed by leg injuries this season.

It’s the first time the WNBA Finals have gone to a deciding Game 5 since 2009, when Catchings and the Fever lost to Phoenix.