Maya Moore has been around awards all her life. She usually gets them for her accomplishments.
But Friday night, she appeared concerned about the WNBA championship trophy. She was the last Lynx speaker in the news conference following their 73-67 victory over Atlanta, which clinched the league title for them.
"Can I take this?" she asked, referring to the championship trophy sitting on the table on the dais. She couldn't. But a woman, probably somewhat associated with the league grabbed it.
Moore did her part to make sure the series ended in three games.
She had 15 points, on six for nine from the field, including two big three pointers, and made one of three free throws attempts. She also had seven rebounds -- only Rebekkha had more for the Lynx with nine -- two assists and one steal. The one negative stat, four turnovers.
The Lynx trailed 37-33 at the half.
"We just had to get stops," Moore said. "In the third quarter, we held them to nine [points]. ... That's who we are. I am just glad that we were able to finish playing Lynx basketball by being a good defensive team and stepping up and hitting our free throws at the end [in the fourth quarter]. Just staying together the whole game."
The Lynx outscored the host Dream 19-8 in the pivotal third quarter. Atlanta was four for 18 from the field and committed four turnovers which led to six Lynx points. The Lynx were nine for 18, or 50 percent, from the field. Big difference.
At Connecticut, Moore played on two NCAA championship teams and played in more winning games than any college player before (150-4). Her teams once won 90 games in a row.
Success seems to follow her around.
"I just come in and try to help my team win," Moore said, referring to the Lynx. "I made some mistakes [Friday]. I made some good decisions. I made some bad decisons. But ultimately it is not about me, it is about everybody coming in and making something happen at their moment.
" I had a couple of moments I was able to help my team," she said. "And other players stepped up when it was their moments. And we all feed off of that. I am just excited that we had a good crowd behind us. [There were two rows of Lynx fans, at least, behind the Lynx bench.] And it felt good to have somebody to point to and to smile at after we won."
Moore made two of the game's biggest plays.
1. Play 1. One came early in the second quarter. Atlanta seemed on the verge of taking a big lead. Alison Bales, a 6-7 center, made a long three-pointer to put the Dream ahead 23-17. Moore answered immediately and was fouled by Erika de Souza. She missed the free throw, but gabbed the rebound and fed Candice Wiggins for a three.
So in five seconds, the Lynx score six points and tie the score 23-all. Don't see that much. Wow.
2, Play 2. With the 25-second shot clock winding down, Mooore make a three-pointer to give the Lynx a 64-56 lead. It turns into a huge basket because the Dream went on a 7-0 run but to close within 64-63. But they never got the lead again.
On playing with Augustus: "Seimone, this year, she is so confident in her game. She is one of those players who can go out and play so well, play so hard on both ends, but make everybody else feel like they are playing well at the same time."