WNBA

Indiana Fever Defeat Minnesota Lynx to Capture First WNBA Title

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - OCTOBER 21: Tamika Catchings #24 of the Indiana Fever hoists the championship trophy after defeating the Minnesota Lynx after Game Four of the 2012 WNBA Finals on October 21, 2012 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Indiana. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)
Michael Hickey/Getty Images
Ian HanfordFeatured ColumnistOctober 22, 2012

The Indiana Fever have defeated the Minnesota Lynx 87-78 in Game 4 of the WNBA finals to win the franchise's first WNBA championship.   

Winning your team's first championship has to feel good, but beating the defending champions to get there makes it that much better.

Indiana was led by four double-digit performances on the offensive end, including a 25-point effort from Tamika Catchings. Catchings also had eight assists, four rebounds and three blocks on the night. Her effort was flawless, consistently pacing her team to the decisive victory.

She was supported by Erin Phillips, Shavonte Zellous and Briann January. The Fever's three-headed backcourt overwhelmed the Lynx all night, using their quickness to get open looks without using much perimeter shooting.

Minnesota did its best to stay in the game, but couldn't quite get things on track. Maya Moore turned in a 16-point performance, although it was far from her most-efficient effort, going 6-of-14 from the floor.

If it wasn't for Lindsay Whalen this game could have been worse. The Lynx's guard scored 22 points on 9-of-12 shooting, dishing out eight assists in the process. Her production made up for Seimone Augustus' dreadful night (eight points on 3-of-21 shooting).

Indiana lost one other WNBA championship try in 2009. That created a hungry franchise and one hungry superstar player in Catchings. The seven-time WNBA All-Star played that way throughout the series, refusing to be denied for her first career title.

Watching the gratification on the face of Catchings was satisfying, especially for such a classy player. She's been an elite talent for a very long time, and this win was well-deserved.

Also surprising was Augustus' poor performance. The Lynx's guard was the No. 9 scorer in the WNBA this season, averaging over 16 points per game. Not only did she score half of her season average in a big game, but she was extremely inefficient.

Minnesota has a solid young team, but they must go back to the drawing board. Until next season, Catchings and Indiana can enjoy this win.

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