The Phoenix Mercury held tight to avoid elimination in the WNBA finals, beating Indiana Fever 90-77 in Game 4 in Indianapolis.
|Cappie Pondexter, centre, shoots under pressure from Fever defence [GALLO/GETTY]
Cappie Pondexter led the way for Mercury with 22 points, Penny Taylor added 17 points while Diana Taurasi and Tangela Smith each scored 16 to even the series 2-2 and force Game 5 on Friday in Phoenix.
Tamika Catchings led Indiana with 24 points and 12 rebounds and Ebony Hoffman added 17 points.
All-Star Katie Douglas, who was hoping to celebrate a clinching win in her hometown, scored seven points on 2-for-14 shooting.
Phoenix shot 72 percent from the field in the first quarter to jump out to a 33-22 lead. The Fever held the Mercury to 16 points in the second quarter and cut their deficit to 49-47 at the half.
Indiana tied the score at 59 on a layup by Catchings with 4:30 left in the third quarter, but Phoenix went on a quick 6-0 run to force a timeout and put the fans, who had been standing in anticipation of a Fever lead, back in their seats.
The Mercury extended their lead to 72-65 at the end of the third quarter.
Indiana trimmed their deficit to 72-68 on a steal and layup by Catchings, but the Fever went cold and the Mercury pulled away with a 12-2 spurt.
A 3-pointer by Taylor made it 84-70 with 2:33 to go.