TULSA, OKLA. – Maya Moore must feel like she’s back in China.
With three key Lynx players recovering from knee surgeries, Moore is compensating for their absence in spectacular fashion.
Moore scored a career-high 38 points on Friday as the Lynx edged Tulsa 94-93 at the BOK Arena, spoiling the Shock’s home opener. It was Moore’s third consecutive game scoring in the 30s and her two free throws with 11.8 seconds won the game.
Only Cynthia Cooper, Epiphany Prince and Angel McCoughtry have scored 30-plus points in three WNBA games in a row.
‘’It’s just being another year older, having another year of experience,’’ said Moore, in her fourth pro season. ‘’And my offseason training, just continuing to be efficient and sharp, just keeping my body in the best shape that I can, on the court and with my nutrition. I’m constantly looking to be aggressive.’’
Seimone Augustus had 23 points for the Lynx (3-0). Skylar Diggins had 21 to lead the Shock (0-2).
Early on, this game looked like a rout.
Moore nearly outscored the Shock by herself in the opening quarter. She had 20 points — breaking her own franchise record for a quarter by one point — as the Lynx opened up a 35-21 lead.
The Lynx still led 60-48 at the half and Moore had 27 points.
The past two winters, such high-scoring games have been the norm for Moore. She has led Shanxi Xing Rui Flame to back-to-back Women’s Chinese Basketball Association titles, averaging a league-high 39.3 points this past regular season.
But this game was in Oklahoma, not China. And Moore and the Lynx both stopped scoring in the fourth quarter when they totaled 12 points.
A 9-0 run gave the Shock its first lead at 89-88 on rookie Odyssey Sims’ layup with 3:51 left. Diggins made it 93-90 with 1:04 to go, but Minnesota’s Janel McCarville hit a 15-foot jumper with 46 seconds left. Moore’s free throws put the Lynx back ahead by one.
“I’m just glad [they] went in,” Moore said.