Lexie Brown scored 26 points and handed out nine assists, and Sylvia Fowles added 21 points as the Minnesota Lynx did what they needed to do down the stretch to defeat the Indiana Fever on Friday in Bradenton, Florida.
The Lynx (5-1), who won their fourth consecutive game, led by 14 points after Napheesa Collier's floater with 8:29 to play and looked to be home free. Indiana then scored 12 of the next 13 points to give itself a chance, but Minnesota found its legs again, with Brown and Fowles canning big shots to close things out.
Collier added 16 points for Minnesota, and Crystal Dangerfield scored 11 for the Lynx, who got 77 of their points from the starting five.
Kelsey Mitchell and Tiffany Mitchell each scored 15 points for the Fever (2-4). Kennedy Burke hit for 14 off the bench, Julie Allemand added 12 points and Teaira McCowan contributed 11 points and 12 rebounds in the loss.
It was the third straight setback for Indiana, which played without Natalie Achonwa (right hamstring), Victoria Vivians (right knee), and Erica Wheeler (WNBA medical protocol).
Indiana led by as many as 11 points in the first quarter after Lauren Cox's jumper with 1:51 to play in the period staked the Fever to a 23-12 lead. Minnesota answered with the final six points of the quarter to pull within 23-18.
The Lynx held Indiana scoreless for nearly five minutes in sweeping to a 33-25 lead at the 4:32 mark of the second quarter. But the Fever responded, pulling back within 35-31 on a rebound and put-back by Kelsey Mitchell with 2:24 to play in the period.
Minnesota bounced back to open the advantage to 41-34 heading to halftime as the Lynx outshot Indiana 48 percent to 37 percent in the half.
Fowles led all scorers with 13 points in the first half while Mitchell paced the Fever with nine points over the first 20 minutes.