Lynx sweep Atlanta to win second WNBA crown in three years

  • Article by: KENT YOUNGBLOOD , Star Tribune
  • Updated: October 11, 2013 - 11:08 AM

Maya Moore, playing in familiar surroundings, led the Lynx to their second title in three years.

– Because Game 3 was so competitive, the Lynx couldn’t start celebrating until there were mere seconds left.

But with a few ticks left on the clock, during a timeout, the party started. Assistant coach Jim Petersen hugged Lindsay Whalen. Seimone Augustus got the bum rush from a slew of teammates, then was enveloped. Maya Moore jumped up and down. Ready-made WNBA championship hats and T-shirts were quietly passed toward the Minnesota bench.

Thursday, in their ersatz home gym and their collective backs against the wall, the Atlanta Dream fought hard, ceding runs then clawing back.

But the Lynx had too much.

After an 86-77 victory at the Arena at Gwinnett Center, the Lynx had swept the WNBA Finals and polished off a perfect 7-0 run through the playoffs. They were league champions for the second time in three years and it was time to smile, hug, scream and yell.

“This is so much fun, too much fun,” said Whalen, drinking from a cup on one side of her mouth, out of a bottle on the other. “In 2011, after we won, it was one of the best nights of my life. I wanted to have that same feeling, that same celebration. This is unbelievable.”

As it has been so often this season, the title-clinching game was a collective effort. All five starters scored in double figures, led by Moore who was playing only miles from where she went to high school and in the arena where she won three state championships. Tough from start to finish, Moore scored 23 points before she hoisted the series MVP trophy, one she swore she would share.

And why not? Janel McCarville had 10 points, eight in the first quarter. Whalen scored eight of her 15 in the second. Rebekkah Brunson, battling all night, got 10 of her 15 in the third. Seimone Augustus had eight of her 14 in the fourth.

The rallying cry all season was to get back a title that slipped away in a four-game loss in the 2012 Finals. Done.

The fact that Game 3 was tight after two consecutive 25-point blowouts made it even better.

“I’m glad Atlanta didn’t come out and lay down,” Augustus said. “They fought. They showed heart.”

Tiffany Hayes and Alex Bentley came off the Atlanta bench to score a combined 38 points. The Dream played tough defense.

The Lynx were leading 47-42 with 7:50 left in the third quarter when they made the game’s signature run. Over the next four-plus minutes, they managed a 13-2 spurt that started with a Brunson free throw and ended with Monica Wright’s three-point play with 3:20 left in the quarter.

Once again Atlanta fought back, getting within 10 entering the fourth and to within seven four times in the quarter, but it got no closer.

Then with three seconds left, it started. A stage was quickly erected. Owner Glen Taylor hoisted the championship trophy and Moore the MVP award.

Two titles in three years.

“Both are special,” said Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve, absolutely drenched. “The common denominator was we had to prove people wrong. Last year we had an opportunity [vs. Indiana in the Finals], and we let it slip away. That was motivation. We got here, we played great in the Finals. We were determined it wouldn’t happen again.”

  • related content

  • Video: Lynx fans celebrate 'the only winning team in town'

    Friday October 11, 2013

    The Minnesota Lynx won their second WNBA championship in three years Thursday with an 86-77 road victory over Atlanta...

  • Lynx return home; parade on Monday

    Friday October 11, 2013

    A parade down Nicollet Mall is planned for Monday for the WNBA champion Lynx, beginning at 11:30 a.m. The...

  • Photo gallery: Game 3: Lynx 86, Atlanta 77

    Thursday October 10, 2013

    The Lynx took on the Atlanta Dream in game three of the WNBA finals in Atlanta Monday evening, winning...

  • Homecoming results in championship, MVP for Moore

    Friday October 11, 2013

    DULUTH, GA. – Road game? Not to Maya Moore.When she and the Lynx walked into the Arena at Gwinnett Center...

  • Postgame: Do the Lynx have the makings of a dynasty?

    Friday October 11, 2013

    Does the team have the makings of a dynasty?

  • Chart: WNBA coaches with multiple titles

    Thursday October 10, 2013

    upper echelonWNBA coaches with multiple league titles:Coach Playoff record TitlesVan Chancellor, Houston 20-14 (.588) 4Bill Laimbeer, Detroit-N.Y. 27-16 (.628) 3Michael Cooper, Los Angeles 25-13 (.658) 2Cheryl Reeve, Lynx 19-5...

  • WNBA Finals: Game 3 recap

    Friday October 11, 2013

    GAME 3 RECAPImpact playerMaya Moore, LynxShe scored 23 points to lead her team in scoring for the fifth time in...

  • Chart: Road to a WNBA title

    Friday October 11, 2013

    road to title NO. 2Western semifinalsPoints Rebounds Assistsleader leader leaderdef. Seattle 80-64 (H) Augustus 19 Brunson 9 Moore 6def. Seattle 58-55 (A) Moore 22 Brunson 13 McCarville 5Western finalsdef. Phoenix...

  • Chart: Sweeps in the WNBA Finals

    Friday October 11, 2013

    Finals sweepsUnder the current playoff format, there have been four Finals sweeps. Atlanta has been on the losing end three...

  • Chart: Lynx scoring by quarters

    Thursday October 10, 2013

    scoring by quartersThe Lynx were at their best in the first quarter vs. the Dream:Qtr. Lynx Atl. +/-First 78 49 +29Second 57 49 +8Third 67 53 +14Fourth 56 48 +8

  • Video: VIDEO: Lynx arrive less than 90 minutes before Game 3

    Thursday October 10, 2013

    Lynx arrive less than an hour and a half prior to game time

  • The Minnesota Lynx celebrate their victory over the Atlanta Dream afte...

  • Lynx forward Maya Moore soared for two of her 23 points over Atlanta’s Le’coe Willingham in Minnesota’s title-clinching 86-77 victory.

  • Lynx forward Maya Moore, the MVP of the WNBA Finals, polished up the championship trophy as she celebrated Minnesota’s 86-77 victory and a second title in three years.

  • Lynx point guard Lindsay Whalen drove to the basket ahead of Atlanta’s Armintie Herrington (22) and Erika de Souza. Whalen finished with 15 points and six assists.

  • Lynx forward Maya Moore hugged team owner Glen Taylor during warmups for Game 3 of the WNBA Finals.

  • Janel McCarville, left, and Lindsay Whalen — former Gophers teammates, now WNBA champions together — hugged and celebrated the Lynx’s WNBA championship.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

New England 2/1/15 5:30 PM
Seattle
Detroit 6:00 PM
Philadelphia
Portland 6:00 PM
Cleveland
Sacramento 6:30 PM
Toronto
Boston 7:00 PM
Minnesota
Dallas 7:00 PM
Houston
Denver 7:00 PM
New Orleans
Brooklyn 7:00 PM
Atlanta
Oklahoma City 7:00 PM
New York
Charlotte 7:30 PM
San Antonio
LA Clippers 8:00 PM
Utah
Washington 9:30 PM
Phoenix
Toronto 6:30 PM
New Jersey
Pittsburgh 7:00 PM
Washington
Chicago 9:30 PM
Los Angeles
Temple 6:00 PM
UCF
Winthrop 6:00 PM
Coastal Carolina
Lafayette 6:00 PM
Colgate
Northeastern 6:00 PM
Drexel
Wake Forest 6:00 PM
Florida State
Rhode Island 6:00 PM
Fordham
Delaware 6:00 PM
James Madison
South Carolina 6:00 PM
LSU
New Hampshire 6:00 PM
Maine
Seton Hall 6:00 PM
Marquette
Binghamton 6:00 PM
UMBC
American Univ 6:00 PM
Navy
Elon 6:00 PM
UNC-Wilmington
Wright State 6:00 PM
Oakland
Minnesota 6:00 PM
Penn State
Duquesne 6:00 PM
Richmond
SMU 6:00 PM
South Florida
Hartford 6:00 PM
Stony Brook
Albany 6:00 PM
Vermont
Hofstra 6:00 PM
William & Mary
UNC-Asheville 6:00 PM
Longwood
Radford 6:30 PM
Char Southern
Holy Cross 0 Postponed
Loyola-Maryland 0
Duke 6:30 PM
Notre Dame
Texas Tech 6:30 PM
Oklahoma
Oregon State 7:00 PM
Arizona State
Morehead State 7:00 PM
Austin Peay
Drake 7:00 PM
Bradley
Lehigh 7:00 PM
Bucknell
Rice 7:00 PM
Houston
Missouri State 7:00 PM
Illinois State
Loyola-Chicago 7:00 PM
Wichita State
Nebraska Omaha 7:00 PM
South Dakota St
Northern Iowa 7:05 PM
Southern Ill
Louisville 8:00 PM
Boston College
St Johns 8:00 PM
Creighton
East Carolina 8:00 PM
Memphis
Georgia Tech 8:00 PM
Miami-Florida
Miss State 8:00 PM
Ole Miss
Clemson 8:00 PM
NC State
Indiana 8:00 PM
Purdue
Kansas 8:00 PM
TCU
Oregon 9:00 PM
Arizona
Air Force 9:00 PM
San Jose St
Stanford 10:00 PM
Washington
Rider 56 FINAL
Siena 49
Dayton 76 FINAL
Richmond 62
Eastern Kentucky 53 FINAL
Jacksonville St 73
Saint Josephs 0 Postponed
Saint Louis 0
UMBC 6:00 PM
Binghamton
Akron 6:00 PM
Ohio U
Ball State 6:00 PM
Miami-Ohio
Memphis 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
East Carolina 6:00 PM
(2) Connecticut
Murray State 6:00 PM
Eastern Illinois
Kent State 6:00 PM
Central Michigan
UT Martin 6:00 PM
Tennessee St
Eastern Michigan 6:00 PM
Western Mich
Bucknell 6:00 PM
Lehigh
Indiana 6:00 PM
Michigan State
Colgate 6:00 PM
Lafayette
Fordham 6:00 PM
Davidson
Duquesne 6:00 PM
St Bonaventure
George Mason 6:00 PM
VA Commonwealth
Detroit 6:00 PM
Youngstown St
Army 0 Postponed
Boston U 0
Loyola-Maryland 0 Postponed
Holy Cross 0
SMU 7:00 PM
Tulsa
Oklahoma St 7:00 PM
Kansas State
West Virginia 7:00 PM
Texas Tech
Denver 7:00 PM
South Dakota
Northwestern St 7:00 PM
Central Arkansas
Austin Peay 7:00 PM
SIU-Edwardsville
Kansas 7:00 PM
Iowa State
Bowling Green 7:00 PM
Northern Ill
Penn State 7:00 PM
Minnesota
San Jose St 8:00 PM
Air Force
Boise State 8:00 PM
Colorado State
Utah State 8:00 PM
Wyoming
San Diego State 9:00 PM
Fresno State
Nevada 9:00 PM
UNLV

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: What chance does the Wild have of making the playoffs?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close