Moore's career night leads Lynx over Atlanta in 2 OT

  • Article by: KENT YOUNGBLOOD , Star Tribune
  • Updated: July 23, 2014 - 12:46 AM

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Sitting back in her chair, her joints encased in ice, Maya Moore smiled.

“I’m just thankful,” she said. “Sometimes they go in, sometimes they don’t.’’

Moore, the Lynx star, is as adept with understatement as she is with a crossover dribble. Because Tuesday night at Target Center, in a two-overtime thriller against Atlanta, they went in.

A lot.

In a 112-108 Lynx victory, in a game that looked, at times, as physical as a rugby match, Moore scored 48 points. Against a team determined not to give her anything easy, Moore took the hard way: She burst off picks, created space on her own, ran the floor, piggybacked her team through some difficult stretches, Moore hit 16 of 30 shots, seven of nine on three-pointers, went 9-for-11 from the free-throw line and had 10 rebounds and four assists while scoring 30 or more points for the 10th time this season.

It was the biggest single-game total in franchise history, eclipsing Katie Smith’s 46-point performance in 2001. It was the second-highest total in WNBA history behind Riquna Williams’ 51 points for Tulsa last season.

And, as Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve said: “We needed every single one of them. I just told her that. Every single one.’’

She’s right. Because, despite Moore’s heroics, despite getting 17 points and 12 rebounds from Rebekkah Brunson in her 2014 debut after preseason knee surgery, despite getting 26 points and nine assists from Lindsay Whalen, the Lynx needed a few miracles to win their fifth consecutive game.

And Moore supplied them.

She scored 10 points in the first quarter, 13 in the second, 15 in the third and five in the fourth. She scored five in the final OT. She got a key block on Atlanta center Erika de Souza at the end of regulation that forced the first overtime. She had a three-pointer after Atlanta scored the first six points in that first OT, then had a key assist to Brunson to start the second extra session that turned into a three-point play, giving the Lynx (18-6) the lead for good.

“That was the best one yet,” Brunson said of Moore’s game. “It’s unbelievable, but she’s very capable.’’

And, as Reeve said, the Lynx needed every one in a game when Minnesota allowed Atlanta (15-7) to score 50 points in the paint, 21 on the break, 21 off Minnesota’s 23 turnovers. Three Dream starters scored 21 or more, led by Sancho Lyttle (26), Tiffany Hayes (22) and Angel McCoughtry (21).

Indeed, down 14 points midway through the fourth quarter, the Dream went on a 20-6 run to end regulation and had two chances to win at the end, with Moore blocking the second one.

That run stretched to 26-6 when Hayes and McCoughtry hit back-to-back three-pointers to begin overtime. But Moore hit a three to stem the tide. Two Whalen free throws with 1:07 left gave the Lynx a two-point lead, but de Souza’s layup forced a second OT. In the second OT, Brunson’s three-point play and Tan White’s jumper gave the Lynx a quick five-point lead. The Dream whittled it to one, but Whalen and then White scored to ice the game.

“That’s probably one of the most entertaining games I’ve been a part of here in the Target Center,” Moore said. “I was feeling good, and I’m just glad it helped the team get a win and not a double-overtime loss.’’

Yeah, it helped. A little. After it was over Reeve joked that the two missed free throws and a missed layup cost Moore the all-time scoring record. But seriously: Moore has scored 30 or more 10 times in 24 games this season. Her next one will be a league record.

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  • Postgame: An amazing night for Maya Moore

    Tuesday July 22, 2014

    A 48-point night is one for the books

  • Maya Moore split the Atlanta defense during the first half.

  • Maya Moore had the hot hand Tuesday night, scoring a Lynx-record 48 points on 16-for-30 shooting, including 7-for-9 from three-point range.

  • lynx 112, atlanta 108 (2OT)

    Up next: 7 p.m. Friday vs. San Antonio • Target Center • TV: FSN Plus (106.1-FM)

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St. Louis 2
Pittsburgh 4 FINAL
Atlanta 2
Miami 7 FINAL
Washington 11
Detroit 4 FINAL
Philadelphia 4
Minnesota 6 FINAL
Baltimore 5
NY Yankees 7 FINAL
Houston 0
Tampa Bay 2 FINAL
Boston 3
Baltimore 4 FINAL
Toronto 2
Cincinnati 8 FINAL
LA Angels 6
Chicago Cubs 7 FINAL
Kansas City 0
Los Angeles 9 FINAL
San Francisco 11
Chicago WSox 4 FINAL
Cleveland 1
Milwaukee 0 FINAL
Oakland 7
Seattle 5 FINAL
San Diego 8
Texas 5 FINAL
Los Angeles 10
Colorado 11 FINAL
Arizona 10
Arizona 1 FINAL
Colorado 2
Houston 99 FINAL
Washington 91
LA Lakers 99 FINAL
Brooklyn 107
Minnesota 88 FINAL
New Orleans 110
Philadelphia 86 FINAL
Cleveland 87
Detroit 102 FINAL
Miami 109
LA Clippers 119 FINAL
Boston 106
Dallas 99 FINAL
Indiana 104
Memphis 89 FINAL
San Antonio 103
Oklahoma City 109 FINAL
Phoenix 97
Washington 5 FINAL
NY Rangers 2
Calgary 5 FINAL
Nashville 2
Boston 2 FINAL(OT)
Carolina 1
Detroit 4 FINAL
NY Islanders 5
Florida 4 FINAL
Ottawa 2
Anaheim 2 FINAL
New Jersey 1
Chicago 4 FINAL
Winnipeg 3
San Jose 2 FINAL(SO)
Pittsburgh 3
Michigan State 76 FINAL
Louisville 70
Gonzaga 52 FINAL
Duke 66
Philadelphia 0 FINAL
Chicago 1
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Real Salt Lake 2
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(3) South Carolina 80
Villanova 70 FINAL
West Virginia 75
Michigan 69 FINAL
Southern Miss 60
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Middle Tennessee 57
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Louisiana 52
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