INDIANAPOLIS — Tamika Catchings finally won her long-awaited WNBA championship.
The forward contributed 25 points and eight assists to help the Indiana Fever win its first title with an 87-78 victory over the Minnesota Lynx on Sunday.
Catchings, who was voted most valuable player of the best-of-five Finals, averaged 24.8 points in the series, which the Fever won 3-1 over the defending WNBA champions.
“It’s been an amazing journey,” the 33-year-old Catchings said while tearing up. “We’ve had ups and downs, ins and outs.”
Erin Phillips added 18 points and eight rebounds for Indiana while Shavonte Zellous and Briann January, who is from Spokane, each had 15 points.
The Fever is coached by Lin Dunn, a former Storm coach.
Indiana won even though No. 2 scorer Katie Douglas missed most of the series with a severely sprained left ankle.
Douglas checked in with 3.2 seconds left to a loud ovation.
Catchings had won an NCAA championship at Tennessee in 1998 and three Olympic gold medals, but never a WNBA title.
“When you come into this league, your goal and dream is to win a WNBA championship,” she said. “Twelve years later ... it’s so sweet right now.”
Lindsay Whalen scored 22 points on 9-for-12 shooting for Minnesota.
Lynx guard Seimone Augustus, the MVP of last year’s Finals, was limited to eight points on 3-for-21 shooting.