By Paul Cicmil
October 14, 2012
|Minneapolis—The Indiana Fever took a 1-0 lead in the WNBA Finals by beating the defending champion Minnesota Lynx 76-70 on Sunday night at Target Center.
The Fever, with four players scoring in double figures, were led by All-Everything forward Tamika Catchings’ 20 points and center Erlana Larkins’ 16 points and 15 rebounds.
The Lynx also had four players in double figures, including two players with double-doubles. Seimone Augustus led all scorers with 23 points, and forwards Maya Moore (14 points/10 rebounds) and Rebekkah Brunson (10 points/10 rebounds) supplied the double-doubles.
With tonight’s win, Indiana accomplished what only one other team has done this season, as the host Lynx were a combined 19-1 on their home floor in 2012.
The key to the Fever’s Game 1 victory was their 38-24 advantage in points in the paint. Larkins’ was primarily responsible for that, as her effort, strength, and scoring around the basket made life difficult for Minnesota’s defenders. When asked about Larkins’ success against her team, Lynx Head Coach Cheryl Reeve simply said, “She’s relentless.”
Reeve also lamented her team’s inability to hit shots in the fourth quarter. “We just stopped scoring…We were getting the ball where we wanted to get the ball but not able to convert.” After finishing the third quarter with a 58-56 lead, the Lynx were outscored by the Fever in the final ten minutes to the tune of 20-12. As a result, the visitors earned a six point margin of victory.
After two days off, the teams play Game 2 on Wednesday, October 17, tip-off at 8:00 p.m. ET, 7:00 p.m. CT.
photos by Jody Russell Photography