Pumped on by an raucous home crowd, the Indiana Fever maintained an early, but close lead over eth Minnesota Lynx who kept pushing forth time and time again. However, the underdogs had arrived at Bankers Life Fieldhouse with the mindset to take care of business at home and succeeded by stealing the WNBA championship, which had Indiana Fevers name written all over it since the start of the series.
Hence, Tamika Catchings, who scored 25 points in the game earned something to match her set of three Olympic gold medals and an NCAA championship from 1999 in Tennessee, by winning her first WNBA championship Sunday night.
Once before, Tamika Catchings had stood a chance to win the WNBA championship title at home against the Phoenix Mercury who led 2-1 in the 2009 series, but the Indiana Fever were beaten 90-77. The decisive Game 5 loss hosted by the Phoenix Mercury ended Indiana Fever’s championship dreams then and there.
However, those ambitions were revived this postseason with the Indiana Fever winning the series at 3-1 on an 87-78 win in the last game.
"It's been an amazing journey," stated an emotional Tamika Catchings "We've had ups and downs, ins and outs."
It was an especially sweet victory for Tamika Catchings, who was declared the MVP of the WNBA finals after averaging 24.8 points in the series.
Indiana Fever’s Erin Phillips contributed 18 point and eight rebounds, while Briann January and Shavonte Zellous each scored 15 points in the game.
The Finals haven't been a smooth journey for the Indiana Pacers, who played majority of the series with their second top scorer Katie Douglas sitting out due to a sprained left knee. However, Katie Douglas briefly returned in the final few seconds of the game to the deafening applause of the packed arena.
"We sure didn't make it easy. We went three games with Atlanta, three games with Connecticut,” said Katie Douglas. “This team played amazing in these Finals."
Indiana Pacers started the second half on 9-4 run, with two baskets from Tamika Catchings that shot the score to 56-46. That’s when the game got interesting and Minnesota Lynx started fighting back.
Maya Moore scored on a driving layup to bring the Minnesota Lynx within a 2-point deficit. The game got further heated when Maya Moore tied the score on another drive following a timeout call by the Indiana Pacers.
Tamika Catchings responded with a three-pointer and a basket by Jessica Davenport to give the Indiana Pacers a five point lead.
Indiana Pacers maintained that lead throughout the quarter with 63-58 showing on the scoreboard. Minnesota Lynx closed in at Indiana Fever’s lead at 70-67 with a jumper from Maya Moore, but Erin Philips scored on a drive past Maya Moore, earned a defensive rebound and passed to Shavonte Zellous at the arch in the left corner which led the Indiana Fever back to a 75-67 lead with just 4:58 on the click.
A 3-pointer by Briann January put the Indiana Fever at 80-72, and with 57.6 seconds remaining Tamika Catchings scored on a freethrow for a technical foul called on Minnesota Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve. Shavonte Zellous scored on two more free throws with 27.2 seconds and by then the fate of the game was sealed.
Minnesota Lynx’ Lindsay Whalen led Sunday nights’ scoring for the Minnesota Lynx with 22 points and Maya Moore followed with 16 points in the game.