Lynx 81, Silver Stars 62
SAN ANTONIO (AP)
Maya Moore had 18 points and 12 rebounds to lead the Minnesota Lynx to an 81-62 victory over the San Antonio Silver Stars on Sunday.
Rebekkah Brunson added 15 points and 12 rebounds for the defending champion and league-leading Lynx (24-4). Lindsay Whalen and Monica Wright each added 11 points and rookie Devereaux Peters had 10.
Sophia Young scored 20 points for San Antonio (17-11), which lost its third straight at home and fifth in a row overall. No other Silver Stars player scored more than eight points.
Minnesota shot 55 percent (33 for 60) from the field in winning its 11th straight game.
''We played really well in the first half,'' Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve said. ''Offensively, when the shots are falling, it is a lot of fun for the team.''
In comparison, San Antonio finished 36 percent (24 for 66) from the field, including 4 for 18 on 3-pointers.
Minnesota dominated the second quarter, using its defense and ball movement to outscore San Antonio 25-11 to take an 18-point lead at the break.
''They were always the aggressor,'' Silver Stars coach Dan Hughes said. ''They were always at the point where we were playing catch up to them. You have to give them a lot of credit because we were chasing them the entire game so what you saw was just reactions.''
Peters hit a turnaround jumper with 1:38 left in the first half and Wright made a layup 19 seconds later to give the Lynx their largest lead at 45-24. After missing her first three shots, Shenise Johnson closed the first half by making consecutive shots to pull San Antonio to 47-29.
Minnesota was without Seimone Augustus, who was out with a sprained right foot, but the bench scored 22 points in her absence.
''Our bench takes a lot of pride in what they do,'' Moore said. ''When they come in, we want the level of intensity not just to stay the same, but raise it.''
Eight players scored in the second quarter for the Lynx, including 14 points from reserves.
The Silver Stars used a series of picks for open looks, but were 3 for 11 on 3s in the first half.
San Antonio was forced to play catch-up the remainder of the game, but got no closer than seven points in the second half.
The Silver Stars opened the second half on a 6-0 run, forcing the Lynx to call a timeout with 7:22 left in the third quarter. Whalen hit a 16-foot jumper immediately after the timeout, but San Antonio went on another 6-0 run following that basket.
Young hit a pair of free throws as the Silver Stars closed to 55-46, its first deficit under 10 points since trailing 32-23 with 7 minutes left in the first half.
Young's layup pulled San Antonio to 57-50 with 1 minute left in the third quarter, prompting a fist-pump in celebration by Young and another timeout by Reeve.
''It did take a lot of energy (to pull within 7),'' Young said. ''Even though it was tiring, I still think that we could have gotten a little closer if we would have continued to do what we were doing. But we made a lot of mental mistakes down the stretch that cost us a win.''
The Lynx rebuilt a double-digit lead on a turnaround jumper by Peters and a fastbreak layup by Whalen for a 65-54 advantage with 7 minutes left in the game.
Minnesota post Jessica Adair entered the game in the closing minute of the game and promptly hit a jumper, as every Lynx player on the active roster scored a point.
The Silver Stars lost for the fifth time in six games since a 12-game winning streak.
''They were more ready to play than we were,'' Young said. ''Maybe it's something that we're living in the past. (Maybe) the 12-game win streak is in our head and we're not really focusing and doing the things that we need to do to come out to play aggressively. I use a scripture from Bible, `Don't long for the good old days, it's just as useless as chasing the wind.' We've just got to move on, look ahead and be in the moment.''
The Lynx scored the game's first eight points, including 3s by Moore and Wright. Shameka Christon broke the run with a 3, but Moore and Wright hit two more 3s to build Minnesota's lead to 17-9.
The reserves pulled the Silver Stars to 19-16 with 2 minutes remaining, but the followed with an 8-2 run bridging the first and second quarters.