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Lynx reserves Candice Wiggins, left, and Devereaux Peters tried to strip the ball from New York's Alex Montgomery after she grabbed a third-quarter rebound Thursday night.

Jeff Wheeler, Dml - Star Tribune

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Rookie Peters has big night for Lynx in 32-point win

  • Article by: ROMAN AUGUSTOVIZ
  • Star Tribune
  • June 22, 2012 - 7:19 AM

Candice Wiggins was laughing uncontrollably at midcourt on Thursday. Nearby, Monica Wright was more stoic but had a wide smile.

Both were watching Lynx teammate Devereaux Peters at the free-throw line, trying to complete a three-point play in the second half. The 6-2 rookie forward had just made another improbable basket while being knocked down.

"[Peters] was amazing," said Seimone Augustus, who scored a team-high 26 points as the Lynx rolled over the New York Liberty 102-70 at Target Center. The Lynx, who lost for the first time this season Sunday at Seattle, are 11-1 and have a 12-game winning streak at home counting last year's playoffs.

Peters was the talk of the Lynx locker room after the game, which drew an announced crowd of 9,050, their second-largest of the season.

Peters, the No. 3 overall pick in the WNBA draft from Notre Dame, scored 18 points and had six rebounds, both season highs. At least three or four of her baskets came on plays when she was bumped hard by one of the Liberty's big posts.

No matter. Peters made six of her first eight shots before missing her final two with the score already lopsided.

"A lot of shots, I can't even tell you how I hit them," Peters said. "I just threw them up and they went in. I got open, and my teammates got me the ball. It worked out nice."

Said Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve: "The rookie wasn't bad. Dev is a possession player, she competes. And when you compete and you play that hard, great things happen to you."

Peters also had two steals and one block on the same night the Lynx disclosed that Jessica Adair, another backup post player, will be out until after the monthlong WNBA break for the London Olympics.

Adair will have arthroscopic surgery on her right knee on Friday, and her absence almost certainly means Peters will play more.

"[Dev] has a great understanding of what we are trying to do defensively," Reeve said. "She takes great pride in it. Offensively, she is getting there."

Peters came into the game averaging five points with previous highs of 14 and 10.

Against the Liberty, she had four points in a 13-0 run in the second quarter. It began with the Lynx trailing by seven points and ended with them ahead 40-34.

New York (4-8) made seven of nine shots from behind the arc in the first half, including one from halfcourt, to stay within 45-42 at halftime. The Lynx then opened the third quarter with an 11-2 run to take control. The 32-point margin of victory was the second-largest in franchise history.

Liberty guard Cappie Pondexter scored 17 of her 30 points after halftime, but her teammates contributed only 11. So the Lynx, who had five players in double figures, pulled away.

"Everybody on their team can make baskets," said Leilani Mitchell, New York's other starting guard, "so that's what they did."

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