Roman Augustoviz spends Minnesota's winters covering college hockey, specifically the Gophers, and other University of Minnesota sports. During the summer, he writes about the WNBA's Minnesota Lynx, with a dose of U sports sprinkled in. Follow him on Twitter @RomanStrib.

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Moore: Lynx hope to eventually pull away every game

Posted by: Roman Augustoviz under Lynx Updated: September 18, 2012 - 10:35 AM

Maya Moore said she thought the Lynx got outworked in the first half of Monday's game against Indiana.

The Fever led 43-29 late in the opening half until a late 11-0 Lynx run enabled them to close the gap to 43-40 before intermission..

Those watching the game should have expected Indiana to start well, Moore said.

"Teams are supposed to come out aggressive and battle," Moore said. "Sometimes they can stay with us for 10 minutes. Sometimes they can stay with us for 20, 30, 35 [minutes]. If we can find that separation sometime before 40 minutes is up, that's all we are asking for."

And the Lynx found it again against the Fever, winning 86-79 to improve their record at Target Center to a franchise-best 16-1. Counting last season, the Lynx are 30-4 at home. Add the 2011 playoffs and the home record is 35-4. That's dominating.

The Lynx clinched the top seed in the West -- and the home-court edge as long as they remain in the playoffs -- last Friday by beating Indiana on the road. Even so, Moore said the Lynx wanted to keep their momentum going.

"We want to win every home game," she said. "That is who we are.That is what we want to do for our fans. They make it so much easier for us by the energy that they bring, the excitement. I'm just glad we could end the regular season on the right note and set franchise history."

Moore, a 6-foot, second-year forward, scored a career-high 29 points against the Fever. She was nine of 16 from the field, six of eight on three-point attempts and made all five of her free throw chances.

She also filled up the score sheet in the other categories: seven rebounds, three assists, two steals and two blocks in a team-high 35 minutes, 46 seconds.

Moore is averaging 19.3 points, 8.1 rebounds, 4.7 assists, 2.0 steals and 1.0 blocks since the Olympic break. Those are MVP numbers. Monday's game was her eighth 20-point game. Five have during the Lynx's 11-1 run since mid-July.

Her five three-pointers in the third quarter against the Fever tied a WNBA record, set by Diana Taurasi of Phoenix on May 25, 2010.

"I am always looking to make a play," Moore said. "I am always thinking, 'How can I help my team?' Regardless if we are up 10 or down 20, I am always trying to make a play.

"When you start hitting shots, you start to feel good. The more shots you hit, the better you feel offensively. At one point, I came into the game and I tried to be aggressive toward the rim. I got some contact, but made it anyway and that kind of got me going a little bit.

"Our team, in general, is playing at a very high level. We are starting to hit our stride at the right time. Even though we have won a lot of games, we still don't feel like we have reached the potential of this team. ... Beating Indiana at Indiana was pretty big for us and then winning at home here, the way we came back from adversity, shows a lot about this team. Sometimes it is not going to be pretty, but I love the way this team fights back."

SURGING AT HOME

Until this season, the most home wins in a single season by the Lynx was 14, set last year. This season, their 16 wins on their court  is most home wins by any WNBA team, although Los Angeles can match their total. The Sparks are 14-1 at the Staples Center with two games there left. They host the Lynx on Thursday.

The Lynx won their first eight games at home this season, lost to Connecticut, then won eight more in a row.

Indiana was one team that seemed to thrive at Target Center, winning there once the past three seasons. But now the all-time series between the Fever and the Lynx is tied at 12-all.

MAYA MUSES

* To the media, surrounding her in the locker room after Monday's game: "Sorry, my locker is a little messy."

 * On the team's visit to the White House on Tuesday: "We will be in good spirits and take a minute to enjoy what we did last year [today] and appreciate where we are, but then it is back to work after that." This will be Moore's fourth White House visit. "It is a very humbling experience every time I have been. You kind of think about your life and you think you have problems. And then you walk into the White House, you are like, 'OK, these are real problems.' They are trying to figure out how to keep the world at peace.  It really makes you step back and appreciate our freedoms  and all the hard work that our government puts in, especially the president and his family. Them being basketball fans, it is even more special. It will be great to see them again and just celebrate who we are as a country and what we were able to do last year as a team."

* On whether she is on a first-name basis with the president: "He is with me, but I still call him Mr. President."

* On keeping an eye on Seattle, the Lynx's opponent in the first round of the playoffs: "We watch everyone we could potentially play. Our coaching staff is definitely on top of those kind of things. But not too focus [on the Storm] because we want to finish out the regular season."

 

 

 

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