Catchings scores 26, Fever advance past Mystics

Tamika Catchings, Tianna Hawkins

WASHINGTON (AP) — Tamika Catchings had 26 points and 11 rebounds as the Indiana Fever defeated the Washington Mystics 81-76 to sweep the best-of-three series and advance to the Eastern Conference finals.

Catchings’ 3-pointer with 1:34 remaining in overtime put the Fever ahead for good, 75-74. On that basket, she surpassed Lisa Leslie as the WNBA’s all-time leading scorer in the postseason.

The Fever will face top-seeded Atlanta or No. 4 Chicago in the conference finals.

Kara Lawson scored a season-best 20 points for the Mystics. Including the regular season, Washington lost five of its final six games.

Indiana won Game 1 by 78-73 at home on Thursday.

Briann January scored 13 for Indiana. Her two free throws with 19.7 remaining in regulation tied the game 66-66. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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