UNCASVILLE ——The Sun ended 4 of 18 from three, shooting 40.6 percent.
The Sun's season ends one win short of their first Eastern Conference title since 2005. They swept New York, won Game 1 against the Fever and led 11-0 in Game 2 before their momentum was stunted.
"It's hard to be a champion and we are not there, obviously," Thibault said.
Indiana also recovered from a 1-0 deficit to win its first-round series against Atlanta. No team has ever won a title in such fashion.
The Fever's two stars, Douglas and Catchings, have never won a title. And during the Sun's stop in Indiana for Game 2, Thibault heard tell of the "burn" inside the Fever to get them one.
"Asjha [Jones] and Kara [Lawson] have the same burn those guys do," Thibault said. "What more right do they have to the title than us? It's the same emotion."
And if the perception was that Indiana's championship window was closing, the same could be said for the Sun, so desperate to get Jones a WNBA crown to go along with her two NCAA championships at UConn and her 2012 Olympic gold medal.
"Everyone is trying to get a championship. I know they've been pushing hard to get a championship, but so have we," Sun guard Tan White said.
And this game was played where the Sun wanted it.
"Which makes this so hard," Renee Montgomery said.
Thibault said he knew the game might come down to hustle plays, like Monday's did in Indiana. But he suspected it would have more to do with who was able to sustain the effort, which the Sun did not do defensively.
"It's not a big deal to do that. In the NBA, you might have to play 28 games to win the championship. This is supposed to be fun. If you don't like playing these kinds of games, you shouldn't be in the business."
And the Fever won this game, and the series, on adrenaline. Instead of flailing with the loss of Douglas, the Fever just kept burning the Sun.