MINNEAPOLIS — Seimone Augustus scored 23 of her 27 points in the second half to help the Minnesota Lynx surge past the Indiana Fever 83-71 on Wednesday night to even the WNBA Finals at one game apiece.
Maya Moore pitched in 23 points and the defending champion Lynx forced the Fever into 24 turnovers, 15 after halftime. Former Josey standout Taj McWilliams-Franklin had eight points, four rebounds, four assists and three steals for the Lynx.
Tamika Catchings led the way as usual with 27 points and eight rebounds, but the Fever’s defense faded after a dominant start.
They let the Lynx score 29 points in the third quarter and bring an already-loud crowd into the game even more.
The series now moves to Indiana. Game 3 is on Friday and Game 4 is on Sunday.
Augustus swished a 3-pointer with about 6 minutes left to give the Lynx a 71-57 lead, their biggest to that point after the sluggish beginning.
The third quarter was extra tight, plenty physical and increasingly testy. After Lindsay Whalen tied the game at 48 with a reverse layup, Moore picked up her third foul on the other end. Whalen’s layup was blocked by Briann January when the Lynx got the ball back, and coach Cheryl Reeve’s game-long lobbying for more calls to go her team’s way boiled over.
Screaming for a whistle after her miss, Whalen was slapped with a technical foul by official Michael Price, who quickly tacked one on for Reeve. Then the coach really lost it, tearing her suit coat off and trying to escape assistant coach Jim Peterson’s long arms as he held her back from further confronting the refs.
The Fever played without shooting guard Katie Douglas for the second consecutive game, the sprained left ankle she suffered at the end of the Eastern Conference Finals still not ready for action.