INDIANAPOLIS — Shavonte Zellous scored a career-high 30 points to help the Indiana Fever beat the Minnesota Lynx 76-59 in Game 3 of the WNBA Finals.
Tamika Catchings added 17 points and Erlana Larkins had 10 points and 15 rebounds for the Fever, who took a 2-1 lead in the series and can win their first title at home Sunday night.
Rebekkah Brunson, who scored 12 points, was the only Minnesota player to reach double figures.
It had been a tense series. Minnesota coach Cheryl Reeve was fined after a jacket-throwing tantrum in Game 2, actions that Fever coach Lin Dunn called “disrespectful.” Reeve spent most of the second half seated quietly with her hand on her chin.
The Fever’s lead of 70-33 with 1:58 left in the third quarter was the largest lead by any team in WNBA Finals history.
Minnesota’s previous playoff scoring low this season was 70 points against the Fever in Game 1 of the Finals. Maya Moore was held to eight points in Game 3 and Seimone Augustus, who scored 27 points in Game 2, had six on 3 for 9 shooting on Friday night.
Indiana did it all without No. 2 scorer Katie Douglas. She is still sidelined with a severely sprained left ankle. Reserve guard Jeanette Pohlen is out with a left knee injury.
The game was intense again, but in control. The only incident was a rare technical called against Catchings with the game well in hand for the Fever.
Indiana led 21-16 at the end of the first quarter, and the Fever extended their lead to 28-18 in the second quarter, forcing the Lynx to call a timeout.
A no-look pass by Catchings directly led to a 3-pointer by Zellous and gave the Fever a 33-20 advantage. On Indiana’s next possession, Catchings drove through traffic for a layup to push the lead to 15. The Fever held Minnesota scoreless for 3:40 during a 12-0 run to take a 40-20 lead.
Indiana led 45-27 at halftime. Minnesota shot 5-for-19 from the field in the second quarter. Those tough, contested shots Minnesota made in the first quarter didn’t fall in the second.
Indiana outrebounded Minnesota 20-15 in the first half, forced nine turnovers and committed just three.
The Fever didn’t rest.
Catchings’ baseline jumper pushed Indiana’s lead back to 20 early in the third quarter. Erin Phillips was fouled on a 3-pointer by Monica Wright, and she fell to the ground in front of Reeve. Phillips made all three free throws to make it 54-29.
Indiana continued to pour it on and led 70-38 at the end of the third quarter.
The Fever went on cruise control in the fourth quarter as Minnesota tried to make the score more respectable. Zellous finally made Indiana’s first field goal of the fourth quarter with 2:21 remaining, and the Fever still had a 20-point lead at that point.