Lynx forward Maya Moore is the WNBA Western Conference player of the week for the fourth consecutive week, and fifth time this season.
Moore scored 20 points, had nine rebounds and added four steals in a victory over Phoenix on Thursday, then had 40 points in Saturday's win at Tulsa. She's the first WNBA player to have 11 or more 30-point games in a season, and leads the league in scoring (24.7) and minutes played (35.2).
New York’s Tina Charles was named the Eastern Conference Player of the Week.
The Lynx (22-6) have won nine in a row, but are still a game-and-a-half behind Phoenix in the Western Conference race heading into Tuesday night's game at Indiana.
The WNBA’s sixth-leading scorer, Seimone Augustus, will miss yet another game for the Lynx as she will sit out again tonight as her team plays host to San Antonio.
This is the guard’s third game she has missed since her left knee bursitis first acted up before the Lynx’s loss in Phoenix on June 18. Monica Wright will start in Augustus’ place as she did Sunday against Seattle.
Megan Ryan, here, covering the game for Kent Youngblood.
That was Wright’s first start of the season. She had surgery on her left knee in late April and only returned to playing June 15, but coach Cheryl Reeve said she thinks the extra responsibility has helped Wright shine.
“We threw her into the fire last time,” Reeve said. “We thought for her it was a good time to do that, to take the next step. Now she’s concentrating on being a starter and helping her team rather than managing her knee. So I think it took the focus off of her knee.”
Wright impressed Reeve on Sunday, earning co-player of the game nods with Janel McCarville, who scored a career-high (with the Lynx) 22 points.
And as for the fact that the Stars haven’t lost on the road in five games – the last time being when they played the Lynx on May 30 – Reeve said it just presents her team with another opportunity.
“It’s not very often that we have the chance to break somebody’s streak,” she said. “Oftentimes, it’s us doing the streak. It’s a little added incentive.”
Seimone Augustus will likely miss another game for the Lynx because of left knee bursitis, if Tuesday’s practice was any indication.
“We’re holding Seimone out right now,” coach Cheryl Reeve said. “We want to make sure that when she comes back, she’s fully healthy.”
The guard has sat out two games since the problem first acted up before the loss to Phoenix on June 18. Reeve said the staff thought previously they could control the injury in three to five days. When that proved ineffective, the trainers are now giving her time to heal.
The Lynx play host to San Antonio on Thursday night.
Megan Ryan here subbing for Kent today at Lynx practice.
Reeve said there isn’t any push to do more tests at the moment as the trainers are pretty sure there is no greater issue underlying the bursitis, and she trusts that expertise.
“When he tells me to worry, I worry,” she said. “He hasn’t told me to worry.”
And while Reeve said she doesn’t anticipate having to manage this injury for the rest of the season, it was safe to say Augustus would not be available until she was back at 100 percent.
As for the rest of practice, Reeve said she was pleased the team had some time to pay attention to detail. “We got through the first seventeen games. The first half of the season’s in the books. And now we have this stretch of season where we can really lock in on the things we want to get better at and have a little bit of practice time … to get better at it.”
And as for coaching the Western conference team at the July 19 All-Star game in Phoenix, Reeve said she was looking forward to scouting the competition as well as celebrating the success of last year’s team with her staff – and hopefully some players, too. “I like my players a lot more than I like the other players. It’s more fun to be with them.”
The WNBA officially announced Cheryl Reeve of the Lynx will coach the Western Conference and Michael Cooper of Atlanta will lead the Eastern Conference at the WNBA All-Star Game on July 19 in Phoenix.
Reeve was chosen because the Lynx won the Western Conference title in 2013 before winning the WNBA crown.
Fred Williams led Atlanta to the Eastern Conference title last season. Williams left to coach Tulsa. Cooper now coaches the Dream, and was chosen because it has the best record in the East this season.
Starting lineups for the game will be announced July 8, and reserves will be announced July 15.
Playoff tickets for the Minnesota Lynx will go on sale at 10 a.m. Friday, the team announced. Minnesota has the best record in the WNBA and is close to clinching home-court advantage for the Western Conference playoffs.
Single-game tickets for the conference semifinals start at $16. They are available by calling 612-673-8400 or by visiting lynxbasketball.com/lynxtix.
“Target Center has yet again provided an unbelievable home court advantage this season,” said Timberwolves and Lynx President Chris Wright. “We rely on our fans to provide the best home court edge in the WNBA and thanks largely to their support we’ve been nearly unbeatable at home over the past three seasons. The players feed off of the energy from the crowd and their support will be pivotal as we try to win another championship.”