The Seattle Storm know they likely have to contain Maya Moore to have a chance to defeat Minnesota in the Eastern Conference semifinals. Accounting for the Lynx's depth may prove to be too much to overcome.
After rolling to a Game 1 victory despite getting little from Moore in the first half, top-seeded Minnesota looks to eliminate Seattle as the series shifts to the Tacoma Dome in Tacoma, Wash. for Game 2 on Sunday, with KeyArena unavailable due to a scheduling conflict.
The Storm held down Moore, the Lynx's leading scorer, for the first 20 minutes Friday by limiting her to a 1-for-9 effort from the field. However, Seimone Augustus, who finished with 19 points, and Rebekkah Brunson, who scored 13 of her 18 in the first half, helped keep Minnesota afloat and ahead 40-36 at halftime.
Moore bounced back to finish with 17 points as the Lynx went on to an 80-64 victory.
''In the first half she started off slow ... but we told her to keep shooting,'' Augustus said. ''She was getting great shots and great looks and she's a great player, so she's going to knock them down. Once she got rolling it opened up the floor.''
Brunson added nine rebounds and four assists, and Moore had six assists and three steals.
The win was Minnesota's fifth in as many meetings with Seattle this season, and the fourth by double digits. The Lynx, though, certainly remember what happened in the first round last year, when the Storm forced a decisive game by winning Game 2 at home. Minnesota was able to close them out with a one-point victory at Minneapolis.
''We still have more we can do. That's what this group is talking about,'' Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve said. ''It's a 120-minute series and we won the first 40. Now we've got to move on to the second 40. It's only going to get more intense in Game 2 because now it's a desperation game for them.''
Seattle had five players score in double figures Friday, led by Temeka Johnson with 14 points and Tanisha Wright with 13. The Storm, though, committed 15 turnovers and were outrebounded 40-33 and 12-3 on the offensive boards.
''They are mentally and physically tough and showed a lot of persistence,'' Seattle coach Brian Agler said of the Lynx. ''They played in a good way and separated themselves in the third quarter. When you turn the ball over, they can score on you quick.''
Agler hopes to see more sloppy play from Minnesota in the first half Sunday. The Storm only trailed by four at the break despite the Lynx going on a 16-4 run in the second quarter.
It may be Seattle's only chance to end its six-game overall losing streak to the defending Western Conference champions.
''We have one option, to win on Sunday,'' Wright said. ''The nice thing about being in this situation is the regular season doesn't count and it doesn't matter. This last game is over and we have another game, so short-term memory.''