WNBA: Lynx pushed to deciding Game 5
INDIANAPOLIS -- The Indiana Fever outscored the Minnesota Lynx 43-26 in the middle quarters Sunday night during a 75-69 victory in Game 4 of the WNBA Finals, forcing a championship-deciding Game 5 on Wednesday in Minneapolis.
INDIANAPOLIS - The Indiana Fever outscored the Minnesota Lynx 43-26 in the middle quarters Sunday night during a 75-69 victory in Game 4 of the WNBA Finals, forcing a championship-deciding Game 5 on Wednesday in Minneapolis.
The Fever shot 54.8 percent during the first three quarters (23-for-42) to lay the foundation for the victory that evened the series at 2-2. Indiana improved to 5-0 in elimination games during the 2015 playoffs.
Forward Marissa Coleman scored all 14 of her points in the first 30 minutes when Indiana took advantage of foul trouble to Lynx center Sylvia Fowles.
Minnesota led 38-36 with 8:17 left in the third quarter, but the Fever finished the pivotal period on a 22-8 run for a 58-46 advantage with 10 minutes to play.
Guard Shenise Johnson scored 15 to lead the Fever. Guard Briann January had 13 for Indiana, and forward Tamika Catchings added 10.
Forward Maya Moore, whose 3-pointer at the buzzer gave Minnesota an 80-77 victory in Game 3 on Friday night, cut the Fever’s fourth-quarter lead to 64-56 with a 3-pointer with 4:31 remaining.
Indiana guard Shavonte Zellous made two free throws and Johnson sank a basket to push the Fever’s lead to 68-56 with 3:11 left.
Moore led all scorers with 18. Lynx guard Lindsay Whalen added 16, and guard Seimone Augustus finished with 10.
Getting strong play from Johnson and January, the Fever used a 21-12 second quarter to grab a 36-32 lead through 20 minutes. Indiana made eight of 11 second-quarter field goal attempts to finish the half 15 of 29.
Indiana outrebounded Minnesota 8-3 in the second period. Johnson had six points in the second quarter, when January had three of her four first-half assists.
Forward Natasha Howard came off the bench for three second-quarter field goals for the Fever.
The Lynx made nine of 17 first-quarter shots and outrebounded Indiana 9-6 in the opening 10 minutes to lead 20-15.
Minnesota won WNBA championships in 2011 and 2013, and Indiana was the 2012 champion.
The game was the 32nd WNBA playoff game hosted at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, more than any other venue in league history. ... Indiana rallied from down a game against Chicago in the Eastern Conference semifinals and from a game down to New York in the Eastern Conference finals. ... When F Tamika Catchings had 10 points and 10 rebounds in Friday night’s Game 3 loss to Minnesota, it was her 25th playoff double-double, a WNBA record. ... The Lynx’s previous two WNBA championships were clinched on the road - 2011 in Atlanta and again in 2013 in Atlanta. ... The team leading at halftime lost each of the first three Finals games before Indiana reversed that trend in Game 4.