Lynx star forward Maya Moore had a busy day ahead of her Sunday, what with a WNBA game, a postgame talk for the team’s Faith and Family day and an appearance at the All-Star Legends and Celebrity Softball Game.
And it sure didn’t start off seamlessly if the first half of the Lynx’s 77-60 victory over Seattle at the Target Center was any indication. Moore shot 2-for-8, didn’t score until halfway through the second quarter and only managed six points.
As coach Cheryl Reeve said, Moore was just being “funky.”
“She was just playing very uncharacteristically off,” she said. “Get her wide open, which you know we haven’t got her wide open in a long time, and all of a sudden she’s shot-faking and jab-stepping and doing some weird stuff. Forgetting plays.”
But after a two-game streak of scoring 30-plus points and a double-double in her last game, Moore wasn’t ready to repeat her first-half struggles. The league’s leading scorer roared back to start the third quarter, eventually ending with a game-high 26 points and 12 rebounds for yet another double-double.
“The first half, I just didn’t have a very good flow, maybe trying to force certain actions instead of just kind of shooting and feeling the game,” Moore said. “So I just came out more determined in the second half to be aggressive and not to think so much and just play. I just trust my instincts.”
Storm center Camille Little called Moore’s second-half surge unexplainable. Her coach, Brian Agler, attributed it to Moore’s teammates.
“They really started going to her, trying to get her some looks, really tried to get her going,” Agler said. “And she did. She’s one of those players like all the great ones; if they get a little bit of a rhythm going, they’re going to be tough to contend with.”
Moore wasn’t the only Lynx with a double-double. Forward Devereaux Peters tallied 10 points and 10 rebounds, marking the 21st time in team history two players doubled in the same game. Little led the Storm with 17 points, going 7-for-13 on field goals and 3-for-6 on three pointers.
In a scary moment shortly before halftime, Storm forward/guard Shekinna Stricklen collided with Lynx guard Tan White under the home team net. Stricklen hit her head on the floor, never losing consciousness but experiencing neck pain.
Reeve said she thought her team avoided becoming sidetracked by the incident, and Little said the same for Seattle.
“More immensely than anything, I think you just feel bad for your teammate,” Little said. “I don’t think we thought about it throughout the game, but seeing her go out on a stretcher is kind of a blow.”
Stricklen went to the hospital to be checked out and was diagnosed with a neck strain, but she still flew home with her team Sunday night.