PHOENIX – The past two WNBA champions kept heading in opposite directions Wednesday.
The Lynx, behind Maya Moore’s 34 points, defeated Phoenix 85-78 at Talking Stick Resort Arena to improve to 4-0. That ties the reigning champions with the Los Angeles Sparks for the best record in the league.
Brittney Griner, Phoenix' 6-8 center, picked up three fouls in the first quarter and played only 21 minutes before fouling off with four points and two rebounds. Diana Taurasi, the team's star guard, had seven turovers and missed 12 of her 15 shots, including an off-balance three-point try in the final 20 seconds that would have tied the game.
It was the first time Griner fouled out of a game in her 103-game WNBA career.
The Mercury, picked as the title favorites by team general managers in a preseason poll, is a hard-to-fathom 0-4.
The 2014 WNBA champions lost to the Lynx in the season opener at Target Center and now also at home.
The Lynx seemed in control of the rematch through three quarters. Then everything changed.
After Seimone Augustus made the first basket of the fourth quarter to put the Lynx ahead 66-52, Minnesota went more than four minutes without a point.
The Mercury, meantime, went on a 14-0 run to tie the score at 66 with 49 seconds to play. Penny Taylor had seven of those points; she finished with 25.
DeWanna Bonner made a free throw with 25.4 seconds to play to get Phoenix within 79-78, but the Lynx made six free throws after that to put the game away.
The Lynx return to Target Center to play Indiana, the 2015 WNBA runner-up, on Friday.