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Dave Campbell / Associated Press, Published October 17 2012

Augustus helps Lynx draw even in WNBA Finals

MINNEAPOLIS – These WNBA Finals are not for the feeble. Seimone Augustus and the Minnesota Lynx toughened up after a rare loss and a soft performance at home in the opener by wearing down the Indiana Fever.

Augustus scored 23 of her 27 points in the second half to help the Lynx surge past the Fever 83-71 on Wednesday night to even the best-of-five series at one game apiece.

“We’re going all out. We don’t want to look back on this situation and regret anything,” Augustus said.

Maya Moore pitched in 23 points and the defending champion Lynx forced the Fever into 24 turnovers, 15 after halftime. Tamika Catchings led the way as usual with 27 points and eight rebounds, but the Fever’s defense faded after a dominant start that forced the Lynx to miss 11 of their first 14 shots.

They let the Lynx score 29 points in the third quarter and bring an already-loud crowd into the game even more. Catchings offered an alternate theory, though.

“Seimone Augustus went against us. That’s what happened,” she said.

The series now moves to Indiana. Game 3 is on Friday, and Catchings predicted an even more physical match.

“It was pretty rough out there, and we’re going to have to adapt to that,” said Fever coach Lin Dunn, who called this the most physical game she’s seen in 42 years. “We’ll go home and we’ll be ready.”

Lynx reserve guard Monica Wright had five steals, and coach Cheryl Reeve said she changed the game with her defensive intensity.

Indiana 18 15 22 16 – 71

Minnesota 11 20 29 23 – 83

INDIANA (71): Zellous 5-9 5-5 16, Catchings 9-14 6-7 27, Larkins 1-6 1-2 3, Phillips 4-10 0-0 10, January 5-10 1-2 12, Pohlen 1-1 0-0 3, Davenport 0-1 0-0 0, Christmas 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 25-52 13-16 71.

MINNESOTA (83): Moore 7-15 6-6 23, Brunson 3-10 1-2 7, McWilliams-Franklin 4-8 0-0 8, Augustus 11-23 2-2 27, Whalen 6-9 0-0 14, Wiggins 0-3 0-0 0, Peters 1-2 0-0 2, Wright 1-3 0-2 2, Harris 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 33-74 9-12 83.

3-Point Goals: Indiana 8-19 (Catchings 3-5, Phillips 2-5, Pohlen 1-1, Zellous 1-3, January 1-4, Christmas 0-1), Minnesota 8-18 (Moore 3-6, Augustus 3-7, Whalen 2-2, Wiggins 0-3). Fouled Out: McWilliams-Franklin. Rebounds: Indiana 32 (Catchings 8), Minnesota 42 (Brunson 7). Assists: Indiana 13 (Phillips 4), Minnesota 17 (McWilliams-Franklin, Whalen, Moore 4). Total Fouls: Indiana 15, Minnesota 19. Technicals: Indiana Coach Dunn, Minnesota Coach Reeve, Whalen. A: 13,478 (9,181).