Lynx get primed for success

  • Article by: ROMAN AUGUSTOVIZ , Star Tribune
  • Updated: September 18, 2012 - 7:31 AM

The Lynx appear ready for another long playoff run after rallying to improve to 16-1 at home.

 

As long as Maya Moore plays her usual minutes, the Lynx have a chance to beat anyone, anywhere.

On Monday, Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve rested her two starting post players, Taj McWilliams-Franklin and Rebekkah Brunson, against Indiana. Each played about 1 1/2 quarters.

But Reeve kept Moore on the floor and the 2011 WNBA rookie of the year scored a career-high 29 points as the Lynx rallied to beat the Fever 86-79 at Target Center. The final home game of the regular season drew an announced crowd of 9,523.

Moore was 6-for-8 on three-pointers, making all five she took in the third quarter. Indiana led by as many as 10 points that quarter, but it ended tied at 65. The Lynx scored the first five points of the fourth quarter and stayed ahead.

"[Owner Glen] Taylor, early in the season, asked us just to be one [victory] better than we were last season" at home, Reeve said. "It's nice when you can tell Mr. Taylor we were two better. It keeps him smiling."

The Lynx, 14-3 at Target Center a year ago, finished 16-1 this season.

"When you win at home you have a chance to have a special season," Reeve said. "It's really difficult to come in here and win games."

Last Friday, the Lynx beat the Fever 66-64 on the road, clinching the top seed in the league and the home-court advantage throughout the playoffs.

Moore had 15 points in the first victory over Indiana but was only 1-for-5 behind the arc.

In the rematch, she was the difference.

"Seven rebounds, two steals, two blocked shots," Reeve said. "Just all over the place. ... Maya has come into that place that people expected of her."

Said Moore, "The shots were feeling good and you just keep shooting."

Lindsay Whalen with 13 points and backup post Devereaux Peters (10) also were in double figures for the Lynx (26-5). McWilliams-Franklin had eight points to increase her career total to 4,998 points.

Indiana (20-11), which until this loss had a chance at the Eastern Conference title, was led by Tamika Catchings' 19 points.

"I'm sure we will face [the Lynx] if we come out of the East finals," she said.

The rest of the week for the Lynx gets busy. They visit the White House on Tuesday so President Obama can congratulate them on their 2011 WNBA championship.

A grueling road trip -- three games in four days -- follows, starting in Los Angeles on Thursday, followed by trips to Phoenix and San Antonio.

The Los Angeles Sparks and San Antonio Silver Stars will meet in the other opening series in the West while the Lynx play Seattle in a best-of-three series at Target Center opening either Sept. 27 or 28.

Reeve said she probably will rest her starters at times on the upcoming road trip, but will try as always to win each game.

"The main thing [is] to make plays down the stretch," Whalen said. "We are confident but we are never overconfident."

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