INDIANAPOLIS – Tamika Catchings had 17 points and 13 rebounds to help the Indiana Fever beat the New York Liberty 75-67 on Sunday night to tie their best-of-three Eastern Conference semifinal series.
Catchings, who was selected the league's defensive player of the year earlier in the day, helped the Fever fight off elimination and earn one more chance to defend their Eastern Conference crown. Game 3 is Wednesday at New York, with the winner advancing to face Atlanta in the conference finals.
New York had won 12 of its previous 13 games, but the Fever held the Liberty to 37 percent shooting. Essence Carson scored 24 points and Cappie Pondexter had 20 for the Liberty.
The Fever had lost four straight, including the first playoff game Thursday in New York.
Tammy Sutton-Brown scored 14 points and Jessica Davenport had 10 points and eight rebounds for the Fever.
Indiana's Katie Douglas sprained her ankle in the regular-season finale and was scoreless in 27 minutes in Game 1 against New York. She was much more active in Game 2 and had 11 points and five assists.
Pondexter and Carson were the only New York players to score in double figures. The Liberty starters shot a combined 12 for 42 from the field.
The Fever opened with one of the best defensive quarters in their postseason history. They held the Liberty to 3-for-15 shooting to take a 21-8 lead. Indiana tied its record for fewest points allowed in a quarter in a playoff game.
Carson scored 10 of her 12 first-half points in the second quarter to give New York's offense a boost, but Indiana still led 39-27 at the break.
The Fever opened the second half with a 9-0 run to break the game open. A long 2-point jumper by Douglas gave Indiana a 48-27 lead and led to a New York timeout. New York didn't score for nearly 3½ minutes to start the quarter, and Indiana led 64-46 at the end of the period.