SAN ANTONIO – Another season, another great start by the Lynx.
Seimone Augustus had a season-high 25 points and her team remained unbeaten, holding off the San Antonio Stars 87-79 on Sunday.
The Lynx (7-0) set a WNBA record by winning their first 10 games in 2012 and opened last season 9-2 on their way to a second league title in three years.
They led by 13 points midway through the fourth Sunday, then fended off a late push by San Antonio.
“That’s the poise of this team,” Augustus said. “Just having the confidence to come in and know that we can make big plays down the stretch, mostly on the defensive end. Just trying to get the stop and get a rebound.”
Maya Moore had 18 points, Tan White added 17 and Lindsay Whalen had 11 points and 10 rebounds, helping the Lynx sweep the home-and-home series with the Stars and give coach Cheryl Reeve her 100th career victory.
Minnesota knew the rematch would not be easy, after a 33-point third quarter Friday let the Lynx coast to an 88-72 victory over the Stars.
“It was exactly the kind of game we thought it would be,” Reeve said. “We knew they have a veteran group, a great coach. [They were going to make] adjustments, we had to be ready for some stuff. Neither team handled things very well in the first half, defensively.”
San Antonio spread the floor offensively, collecting 24 assists on 29 field goals. Jia Perkins scored 16 points, Becky Hammon added 15 points, Jayne Appel had 11 and Danielle Robinson had 11 assists as the Stars (3-4) suffered their first home loss.
Reeve praised her team’s poise in the face of a 14-4 run by the Stars late in the fourth quarter. Minnesota missed four shots and committed four turnovers after Augustus’ 17-foot jumper gave them a 78-65 lead with 6:18 remaining.
“I told our group that I appreciated when San Antonio was playing great defense and getting stops, we had the mind-set, I could see us turning and looking and looking at each other going, ‘It’s OK,’ ” Reeve said. “Let’s get it back right here.”
Appel’s layup pulled San Antonio to 82-79 with a minute remaining, but White followed with an alley-oop layup 16 seconds later on Augustus’ assist, and the five-point lead was restored.
“They just have so many weapons,” Appel said. “They are a force from everywhere. It is going to take having all five defenders on the same page moving around and helping each other out to beat them. They can score from any position.”
White gave Minnesota a 75-65 lead midway through the fourth, beaming after making her third three-pointer despite falling to the court. The basket led to a San Antonio timeout, screams of “Tan!” from teammates and a shoulder bump from Reeve.
“I didn’t know she was going to shoot it,” Augustus said. “I think everybody was kind of surprised that she just kind of pulled up with [Kayla] McBride right in her face. She just felt it today. I think she likes playing against San Antonio.”