Catchings, Fever win their first WNBA crown

Tamika Catchings finally won her long-awaited WNBA championship, scoring 25 points to help the host Indiana Fever win their first title with an 87-78 victory over the Minnesota Lynx on Sunday night in Indianapolis.

Catchings, who was the MVP of the finals, averaged 24.8 points in the series, which the Fever won 3-1 over the defending WNBA champions.

“It’s been an amazing journey,” said Catchings, tearing up. “We’ve had ups and downs, ins and outs.”

Erin Phillips added 18 points and eight rebounds, while Shavonte Zellous and Briann January each had 15 points.

The Fever won even though No. 2 scorer Katie Douglas missed most of the series with a severely sprained left knee. Douglas checked in with 3.2 seconds left to a loud ovation.

Catchings had won three Olympic gold medals and an NCAA championships at Tennessee in 1998, but never a WNBA one.

NBA: Knicks forward Amare Stoudemire is expected to miss the start of the regular season and be out two to three weeks because of an injured left knee.

He returned to New York on Sunday for another evaluation, and an MRI revealed a ruptured benign cyst, the team said.

Stoudemire had played in only one preseason game, sitting out the first two because of a bruised left knee.

The Miami Heat waived center Mickell Gladness and forward Robert Dozier.


PGA TOUR: Tommy Gainey became the fourth player this year to rally from at least seven shots behind in the final round, shooting a course-record 60 in the McGladrey Classic at St. Simons Island, Ga., for his first victory.

Gainey, a former reality show contestant on The Golf Channel who’s known as “Two Gloves” for wearing black gloves on each hand, joined a long list of unlikely winners this year. He made seven straight 3s on his way to a 29 on the back nine, but settled for par on the final two holes with a chance to become the sixth player in PGA Tour history to shoot 59.

He wound up with a one-shot victory over David Toms, who closed with a 63.

CADDIE DIES: Scott Steele, who worked for Larry Mize when he won the 1987 Masters, has died of a heart attack. He was 55.

EUROPEAN TOUR: Bo Van Pelt closed with a 4-under 68 for a two-stroke victory over American countryman Jason Dufner in the Perth International at Perth, Australia.

LPGA: Suzann Pettersen won her ninth career title, beating Catriona Matthew with a 5-foot birdie putt on the third playoff hole after blowing a big lead the HanaBank Championship at Incheon, South Korea.


LUXEMBOURG OPEN: Venus Williams won her first WTA tournament in more than two years, beating Monica Niculescu of Romania 6-2, 6-3.

STOCKHOLM OPEN: Tomas Berdych won his second title this year, rallying to beat top-seeded Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France 4-6, 6-4, 6-4.

VALENCIA OPEN: Marin Cilic of Croatia recovered from a shaky start to beat Slovakia’s Martin Klizan 1-6, 6-0, 6-3 in the first round at Valencia, Spain.

KREMLIN CUP: Caroline Wozniacki won her 20th career title, beating Samantha Stosur of Australia 6-2, 4-6, 7-5 in Moscow.


CALGARY CUP: American J.R. Celski became the first short-track speedskater to break the 40-second barrier in the 500 meters, setting a world record of 39.973.


OXFORD PLAINS: Austin Theriault took control following a caution on lap 41 and went on to collect his first career PASS North victory against the full 32-car field in the Super Late Model race of the PASS North season finale at Oxford Plains on Saturday.

Other winners were Dana Reed in PASS Modified, Carey Martin in PASS Sportsman, Corey Morgan in Wildcats and Shawn Buffington in NELCAR Legends. 

— From staff and news services