The Indiana Fever beat the defending champion Lynx in Minnesota in Game 1 of the best-of-five WNBA Finals.
MINNEAPOLIS — The Minnesota Lynx entered the WNBA Finals with a 2011 championship banner hanging at Target Center and a talented team that had visions of becoming the league’s next dynasty.
Indiana hasn’t backed down from a fight all postseason, and it is clear the Fever doesn’t plan to start now.
Erlana Larkins collected 16 points and 15 rebounds and Indiana stunned Minnesota with a 76-70 victory Sunday in Game 1 of the best-of-five series.
“We’ve made it to this point, what’s there to fear?” Larkins asked. “We know they’re the defending champions and they’re going to bring their ‘A’ game … So what, they’re the defending champs? We’re here to take one.”
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Tamika Catchings scored 20 points for the Fever, which played without leading scorer Katie Douglas because she has a sprained left ankle. Indiana scored 15 points off 17 Minnesota turnovers and outscored the Lynx 38-24 in the paint before a crowd of 14,322.
Briann January, who is from Spokane, had 11 points and a game-high six assists for the Fever.
“We came in here without any fear,” said Indiana coach Lin Dunn, a former Storm coach.
Game 2 is Wednesday in Minneapolis. There is some question whether Douglas will be able to play in the series.
Seimone Augustus scored 23 points and Rebekkah Brunson added 10 points and 10 rebounds for the Lynx, who are looking to become the league’s first repeat champion in 10 years.
Maya Moore had 14 points and 10 boards but made a mere 4 of 14 shots and Lindsay Whalen managed 12 points on 4-for-12 shooting. Minnesota trails in a series for the first time since its title run started last year.
“For some reason, we didn’t come out ready to play and they were,” Augustus said.