Augustus, Lynx even series with Game 2 victory
Minneapolis, MN (Sports Network) - Seimone Augustus scored 23 of her team-high 27 points in the second half to help the Minnesota Lynx even their best-of- five series against the Indiana Fever with an 83-71 victory in Game 2 of the WNBA Finals.
Maya Moore followed with 23 points and Lindsay Whalen added 14 points for the defending champions, who are trying to become the first back-to-back champions since the Los Angeles Sparks in 2001-02.
"Once we turned up our defense, we started getting easier opportunities, which was nice," Minnesota coach Cheryl Reeve said of her team, which forced 24 turnovers.
Tamika Catchings powered the Fever with 27 points and eight rebounds, while Shavonte Zellous chipped in 16 points for Indiana, which took Game 1, 76-70, on Sunday.
"As a team we didn't step up to the plate when we needed to," Catchings admitted. "When we should have rallied and we should have came closer together, it's kind of like we fell apart a little bit and we can't afford to do that."
The series shifts to Indiana for Game 3 on Friday night.
The Fever trailed 9-6 just before the midpoint of the first, but a pair of free throws from Catchings sparked a 12-2 run to close the quarter with the visitors holding an 18-11 lead.
The Lynx stormed back in the second, as Moore's jumper capped an 8-0 surge midway through the stanza to help the Lynx pull within two heading into the locker room.
The teams exchanged buckets throughout the third, as Catchings' 3-pointer with 1:21 remaining gave the Fever a 55-54 edge, but Moore responded with a three- point play before Augustus buried a triple with 3.3 ticks on the clock to send the Lynx into the final frame with a 60-55 lead.
Erlana Larkins opened the fourth with a layup to bring the Fever within 60-57, but Minnesota tallied the next 11 points -- including five from Whalen -- to grab a 71-57 lead and pull away for good.
10/17 23:31:37 ET