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Fever 87, Lynx 78

The SportsXchange

INDIANAPOLIS -- Tamika Catchings had 25 points and eight assists to lead the Indiana Fever to a WNBA title with an 87-78 win over the Minnesota Lynx on Sunday night.

The Fever won the best-of-five championship series in four games, preventing a winner-take-all-game in Minnesota.

Indiana won its first championship in its 13th season. The Fever reached the finals in 2009. Minnesota won the title last year.

Erin Phillips added 18 points for Indiana, and Shavonte Zellous and Briann January added 15 apiece.

Lindsay Whalen had 22 points, eight assists and six rebounds to lead the Lynx. Maya Moore added 16 for Minnesota.

With 8:03 left to play, Catchings was fouled and hit two free throws, giving the Fever a 68-63 lead.

Moore was called for her fourth foul of the game.

After McWilliams-Franklin scored the next basket, Catchings responded to make it 70-65.

The Lynx got within three when Moore hit a shot to make it 70-67.

Minnesota missed a shot, and then Phillips drove to the basket and scored to make it 72-67 with just under five minutes left.

Minnesota missed a shot, and Zellous hit a 3-pointer to make it 75-67.

Nearly three minutes later, Moore's 3-pointer sliced Indiana's lead to 77-72, but January hit a 3-pointer to push the advantage back to eight points.

In the final minute, the Fever hit all five of its free-throw attempts, including one by Catchings after a technical foul on Cheryl Reeves.

The Fever did not have an easy time of it in the first half.

Catchings pushed the Fever to a 13-6 lead at one point in the first quarter, but Moore ended the Fever's run with a 3-pointer to make it 13-9.

Catchings answered with a 3-pointer of her own, and Zellous hit a shot to make it 18-9 with 4:19 to play in the first.

The Lynx never got closer than five points the rest of the quarter.

In the second quarter, the Fever took a 33-26 lead when January scored two free throws.

Whalen answered with a basket to make it 33-28. The Fever turned the ball over under the Minnesota basket, and on the next Lynx possession, Whalen was fouled and scored two free throws to make it 33-30.

Moore picked up her third foul of the game with 6:13 remaining in the first half, and Zellous went to the line and hit two free throws to extend the lead to 37-32.

The Lynx tied the game at 42 late in the first half, but were never able to take a lead.

Phillips hit a 3-pointer and another basket to give the Fever a 47-42 halftime lead.

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