PHOENIX, June 23 (Ticker) -- Tamika Whitmore made sure the Indiana Fever did not waste a quick start.

Whitmore scored 26 points as the Fever raced to a big lead en route to an 83-73 victory over the Phoenix Mercury.

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Tamika Catchings added 20 points for the Fever, who built a 44-28 halftime lead before they held on to win for the fifth time in six games.

Whitmore made 5-of-7 shots and scored 11 points in the first half. Phoenix shot under 37 percent and committed 12 of its 17 turnovers before halftime.

The Mercury pulled within 61-55 after three quarters and got as close as three points with under a minute remaining in the final period. But Tully Bevilaqua and Catchings combined to make six free throws in under 20 seconds to seal things.

Diana Taurasi scored 21 points and rookie Cappie Pondexter 15 for the Mercury, who fell to 3-3 at home.

Next Games: The Mercury host the Sky on Sunday, while the Fever visit the Monarchs.