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Mercury win WNBA championships
Phoenix take the title with a Game 5 thriller over a tenacious Indiana Fever.
Last Modified: 10 Oct 2009 11:10 GMT

The big three celebrate their win - from left   Pondexter, Taurasi and Taylor [GALLO/GETTY]
The Phoenix Mercury have won the WNBA championships with a 94-86 victory over Indiana Fever, holding off a late rally to win the intense series 3-2.

Powered by their 'big three', Mercury secured the title for the second time in three seasons as Diana Taurasi scored 26 points, Cappie Pondexter 24, and Penny Taylor sank two crucial free throws with 37.7 seconds left.

Tammy Sutton-Brown scored 22 points, and Jessica Davenport had a career-high 18 for Indiana in their first finals appearance. Temeka Catchings collected 16 points and nine rebounds for the Fever.

Close game

Indiana rallied from 10 down in the second half to level at 80-all on Sutton-Brown's layup with 4:29 to play, then Tangela Smith made two 3-pointers, her only field goals of the night, to put the Mercury ahead for good.

Her second, after Jessica Davenport scored for Indiana, put Phoenix ahead 86-82 with 3:34 to go.

Pondexter's 9-footer made it 88-82 with 2:22 left, but the Fever - who had led the series 2-1 - were not finished. Davenport's inside basket cut it to 88-84, then Catchings' rebound basket made it 88-86 with 2:07 to play.

On the Mercury's next possession, Taylor drove to the basket and was fouled by Davenport. Her two free throws made it 90-86. Two free throws apiece from DeWanna Bonner and Taurasi provided the final margin.

Taylor added 14 points and Bonner 13 for Phoenix. Katie Douglas had her second straight rough shooting night. The Indiana star was 4 of 14 for 13 points after going 2 of 14 in Game 4.

Solid performance

Phoenix won it with the super-speed style that then-coach Paul Westhead used in 2007 and Corey Gaines adopted when he took over.

After a cold-shooting first quarter, the Mercury turned it on with one of their best 10 minutes of the season, shooting a finals record 76.5 percent (13 of 17) - and they even missed their last two shots - in a second-quarter blitz.

Taurasi, after struggling with her shot against Catchings' defence in the first four games, was 5 for 5 in a 13-point second quarter, three of them 3-pointers.

Her NBA-length 3 from the top of the key with 6:19 left in the half gave her 10 points already in the quarter and put Phoenix up 33-31.

Bonner scored five in a 7-0 spurt that gave Phoenix their biggest lead of the night 51-40 on her two free throws with 1:10 to go.

It was the fourth time the WNBA finals went to a deciding fifth game since the league went to the best-of-five format in 2005.

Source:
Agencies
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