Minneapolis, MN (Sports Network) - Tamika Catchings scored seven of her team- high 20 points in the fourth quarter as the Indiana Fever held off the Minnesota Lynx, 76-70, in Game 1 of the WNBA Finals.
Erlana Larkins added 16 points and 15 rebounds for the Fever, who had been 0-2 against the Lynx this season.
Erin Phillips contributed 13 points and Briann January netted 11 in the victory.
Seimone Augustus scored a game-high 23 points, while Maya Moore finished with 14 points and 10 rebounds for the Lynx, who are trying to become the first back-to-back champions since the Los Angeles Sparks in 2001-02.
Rebekkah Brunson also had a double-double with 10 points and 10 boards in defeat.
Game 2 of this best-of-five series will be on Wednesday.
The Fever carried a 25-20 lead into the second quarter and started the frame with a 7-2 run to open up a 10-point advantage, but Minnesota answered with eight straight points to get back within 32-30 with around five minutes remaining in the half.
The Lynx would not be able to knot the game, however, and Indiana held a 43-40 lead at the break.
After January opened the third quarter with a shot from beyond the arc, Minnesota reeled off a 14-4 spurt to go on top, 54-50, and did not trail for the remainder of the third, taking a 58-56 edge into the final quarter.
But the Lynx would be held to just four points over the first six-plus minutes of the fourth while the Fever ripped off 16 to regain a double-digit cushion, 72-62.
Minnesota would not get closer than five points from there as Indiana cruised to victory.