Tamika Catchings helps Indiana Fever top Minnesota Lynx for its 1st WNBA title

Indiana Fever forward Tamika Catchings celebrates with the

Indiana Fever forward Tamika Catchings celebrates with the trophy and the MVP award after winning the WNBA basketball Finals against the Minnesota Lynx in Indianapolis. (Oct. 21, 2012) (Credit: AP)

INDIANAPOLIS -- Tamika Catchings finally won her long-awaited WNBA championship.

She scored 25 points to help the Indiana Fever win its first title with an 87-78 victory over the Minnesota Lynx Sunday night.

Catchings, who was the MVP of the Finals, averaged 24.8 points in the series, which the Fever won 3-1 over the defending WNBA champions.

"It's been an amazing journey," Catchings said, tearing up. "We've had ups and downs, ins and outs."

Erin Phillips added 18 points and eight rebounds and Shavonte Zellous and Briann January each had 15 points.

The Fever won even though No. 2 scorer Katie Douglas missed most of the series with a severely sprained left knee. Douglas checked in with 3.2 seconds left to a loud ovation.

"We sure didn't make it easy," Douglas said. "We went three games with Atlanta, three games with Connecticut. This team played amazing in these Finals."

Catchings had won three Olympic gold medals and an NCAA championship at Tennessee in 1998, but never a WNBA one.

She had been in a position to clinch at home before.

The Fever led Phoenix 2-1 in the best-of-five WNBA Finals in 2009, but the Mercury beat the Fever, 90-77, took the series back to Phoenix and won the title at home in Game 5.

This time, Catchings took it home with college coach Pat Summitt looking on in the crowd.

Seimone Augustus, Minnesota's leading scorer in the playoffs, was limited to eight points and 3-for-21 shooting. Lindsay Whalen scored 22 points and Maya Moore added 16 points for the Lynx.

Minnesota was vying to become the first team to win consecutive titles since Los Angeles in 2001 and 2002.

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