LONDON - In the first game for USA women's basketball at the 2012 Olympics, Lindsay Whalen took control of a close game and aided in a blowout of Croatia.
On Monday night, in Game 2 of pool play, no individual player could be called pivotal in a 90-38 drubbing of Angola, but the other two Lynx players on the American team, Maya Moore and Seimone Augustus, had plenty of chances to show off.
Augustus scored 13 points and Moore 11, while Candace Parker led the Americans with 14.
Augustus and Moore have this in common: Both have been celebrated players since they were in high school, yet both are still exploring the limits of their games. Augustus blossomed last year, becoming the MVP of the WNBA playoffs, and Moore is a stunningly talented player who often subjugates her talents in an effort to fit into a team.
Augustus was asked if Moore understands how gifted she is.
"She doesn't,'' Augustus said. "She still thinks she has a lot to do. She's still tapping into her potential. She can do some amazing things. Just think about three or four years from now, how she's going to develop into a Jordan-esque player.''
The Lynx players have noted that during the WNBA season, they all tend to go in different directions after practice and games, to spend time with significant others and family. Since the WNBA took its Olympic break, Whalen, Moore and Augustus have been traveling the world together.
"It's been fun to see how they've grown over the last few weeks that we've been together,'' said Augustus, who is the only one of the three who played on the U.S. team four years ago in Beijing. "On and off the court, we've spent a lot of time with each other. And when we're out there, the chemistry is there.''
The U.S. team has won 35 consecutive Olympic games and four consecutive Olympic gold medals. Angola is looking for its first Olympic victory. Moore said taking it easy on overmatched opponents is not part of the American plan.
"Any player that's great should be great because they're consistently doing all the things that winners do,'' she said. "I've been taught that no matter who you're playing against, it should be the same -- same energy level, same effort, same respect for the game.''
As for playing with two Lynx teammates, Moore said: "It's just another opportunity for us to get close and enjoy each other. I know I'm playing with two of the best in Seimone and Lindsay. I couldn't ask for two better teammates.
"I'm just so proud to be with them on this part of their journey, when they're playing so well in their career.''