The Minnesota Lynx defeated the Indiana Fever on Wednesday, Oct. 14 to capture their third championship title in the last five years. Behind the play of Sylvia Fowles, who finished the game with 20 points and 11 rebounds, the Lynx took a commanding 17-point victory 69-52 in Game 5 of the Women’s National Basketball Association Finals to win the series 3-2.

In a rematch of the 2012 WNBA Finals, the Indiana Fever stole home-court advantage on Sunday, Oct. 4 as they picked up the 75-69 road win to lead the series 1-0. Just as they did in 2012, Indiana was victorious in Game 1.

Both teams started the game slow, struggling to score in the first quarter. After one quarter, the game was tied at 10, but the start of the second would be a different story. Maya Moore of the Minnesota Lynx scored 15 of her 27 points in the game in the first half. But behind the play of Indiana’s Briann January, who finished the game with 19 points and six assists, the Fever battled back for a six-point lead at the half 35-29.

With two minutes left in the game, Indiana held a five-point lead 68-63. Minnesota would battle back to make it a three-point game but after a costly turnover, the Fever would regain possession with the final seconds to steal the win.

After dropping Game 1, Minnesota looked to even up the series in front of a packed Target Center. Fowles, who turned 30 on the day of Game 2, would finish the game with 21 points and nine rebounds to lead all scorers as she went 10 of 13 from the field. Moore would continue her offensive display as she added 19 points and eight boards for the Lynx as Minnesota bounced back for a 77-71 Game 2 victory.

For Indiana, Tamika Catchings struggled as she played limited minutes due to foul trouble. She would finish the game with 11 points and nine rebounds, while January added 17 points as they nearly stole Game 2 from Minnesota.

With Game 3 heading to Indiana, the Fever looked to take a series lead at home. After missing huge minutes due to foul trouble, Moore would sink a three-pointer at the buzzer to lift the Lynx to an 80-77 victory.

With 1.7 seconds remaining in the game, Moore took the inbounds pass at the top of the key. After a pump fake, Moore would dribble right to elude Marissa Coleman of Indiana and hit the game winner.

“'[1.7] seconds is a lot of time,” Moore said. ‘”I’m a basketball junkie, watch basketball a lot. … Everything fell on the line, did what I could. It was a basketball move and I was able to get it off. Fortunately I have a pretty quick release and it worked out. I haven’t seen the replay yet, when I let it go I knew I got it off,” said Moore in a statement to WNBA.com.

Minnesota now led 2-1 and could win the series at Indiana on Sunday, Oct.11. Coming into the game, Indiana held a 5-0 record in elimination games this postseason. Behind the leadership of Shenise Johnson, 15 points, and Coleman, 14 points, the Indiana Fever would force a decisive Game 5 in the WNBA Finals as they won Game 4 75-69.

Thanks to another great performance by Fowles, who finished the game with a total of 20 points to lead all scorers and 11 rebounds to be named series MVP, the Lynx overcame Indiana 69-52 for their third title in five years. Seimone Augustus added 16 points and Rebekkah Brunson grabbed 14 rebounds for Minnesota; both Augustus and Brunson were part of that championship team that won it all in 2011 and 2013.

Moore struggled from the floor as she finished the game with just five points on one-for-eight shooting. Despite a rough outing by Moore, the Lynx did force 21 turnovers and held Indiana to 35.7 percent shooting. Tears came down the faces of Lynx players as they finally celebrated their championship victory on their home court to become the 2015 WNBA Champions.

 

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