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Catchings Receives MVP Award, Fever Take Lead In Conference Finals

Last updated on Friday, September 23, 2011

(INDIANAPOLIS, IN) - The Indiana Fever took a 1-0 lead in their Eastern Conference finals series with Atlanta, beating the dream 82-74 at Conseco Fieldhouse.

Tangela Smith led five Indiana players in double figures with a game-high 25 points.

Tamika Catchings finished with a double-double, scoring twelve points and grabbing 13 rebounds.

Katie Douglas and Shavonte Zellous added eleven points with Tammy Sutton-Brown scoring ten.

Lindsey Harding led Atlanta with 17 points with Sancho Little finishing with 14 points and Armintie Price adding 13.

Game two of the best-of-three series is Sunday afternoon in Atlanta.

A decisive game three would be played in Indianapolis on Tuesday if necessary.

Before last night's game, Catchings received her award as the WNBA's Most Valuable Player for 2011.

She received 21 of the 40 first-place votes to claim her first MVP award in her tenth season.

Catchings was runner up in MVP balloting the past two seasons as well as in 2003.

Connecticut's Tina Charles finished second in the voting followed by Chicago's Sylvia Fowles.

Catchings averaged 15.5 points, 7.1 rebounds and 3.5 assists during the regular season.

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