Some strong team play and a favorable schedule have the Indiana Fever off to their best start in seven seasons.
They'll look for a third consecutive victory while continuing a four-game home stretch Sunday against the Phoenix Mercury.
Indiana (3-1), which won six games in 2018, has certainly made the most of an early opportunity that's seen it face winless New York and Dallas a combined three times. The Fever, whose only defeat came at 3-1 Connecticut by 11 points last month, have not played this well since opening their championship season of 2012 with four consecutive victories.
While it can be said the Fever have been the benefit of good scheduling, they've also managed to take care of business. Especially at home, where they topped the Liberty and Wings by 15 points each over the last week.
Natalie Achonwa (10.5 points per game) had 17 points with 11 rebounds and a career-best five assists and Candice Dupree (13.5 ppg, 7.0 rebounds per game) added 14 and also 11 boards as Indiana won 79-64 over Dallas. Achonwa and Dupree are two of six Indiana players averaging at least 10 points.
"I think the buy-in is great," Dupree, who hit the 1,000-point milestone with the Fever, told the club's official website.
"We've said from the beginning of training camp and up until now, the only way we're going to win is to play team ball on both ends of the floor."
So far, Indiana has done that, ranking among the top five in the league in average points scored and fewest allowed.
The Fever lost all three meetings last season versus Phoenix (1-2), which is playing five of its first seven games of 2019 on the road and looking to bounce back from a tough 58-56 loss at Minnesota on Thursday. The Mercury trailed by as many as 16 points before holding the Lynx scoreless over the final four minutes but could not get over the hump even while outscoring them 20-9 in the final period.
DeWanna Bonner (22.7 ppg) scored 12 of her 25 points in the fourth for the Mercury, who last started 0-3 on the road in 2016.
Even though Phoenix has struggled at times while star Diana Taurasi recovers from a back issue, it still poses a serious challenge to a Fever squad that seems poised to take it on.
"DeWanna Bonner is playing extremely well for them. They're missing Diana but they are still being aggressive," Dupree said of the Mercury.