Lynx crush Seattle in playoff opener

  • Article by: KENT YOUNGBLOOD , Star Tribune
  • Updated: September 21, 2013 - 12:21 AM

When Maya Moore started making shots in the second half, the Lynx pulled away from Seattle.

view larger photos



The first half was difficult for Maya Moore.

One shot after another, missed. Jumpers, drives, pull-ups, clang, clang, clang. For 20 minutes Moore — who came a breath away from an MVP award Thursday — was a microcosm of a Lynx team struggling to find a rhythm.

And then: dagger.

After two quarters of disconnect, a half of dominance. The result was an 80-64 victory over Seattle at Target Center in the first game of their best-of-three WNBA Western Conference semifinal series.

Moore, 1-for-9 to start the game, was 5-for-6 in the second half, including a step-back three-pointer in the closing moments of the third quarter that killed Seattle’s notion of an upset. And, as has happened so often this season, the Lynx (27-8) mirrored Moore.

Minnesota allowed Seattle (17-18) to shoot nearly 52 percent in the first half, which ended with the Lynx holding a four-point lead. In the second half, the Lynx clamped down, holding the Storm to 11-for-29 shooting, turning that defense into a resurgent offense.

Moore finished with 17 points, six assists, three steals. Veterans Seimone Augustus, intense from the start, and Rebekkah Brunson — who was named to the league’s all-defensive second team Friday — scored 19 and 17 points, respectively. It was a tale of two halves that must have included a doozie of a halftime speech by Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve, right?

“What part can I share with you?’’ joked Reeve, who turned 47 on Friday, about a talk that might have included some salty language. But, in a nutshell: Reeve wasn’t happy with defensive lapses in the first half, including a breakdown late in the second quarter after the Lynx had built a nine-point lead. It was time for the Lynx to use some defense to change the game’s tone.

And then the third quarter happened.

Up four, the Lynx put on a 6-0 spurt. Janel McCarville scored on a put-back. Then Lindsay Whalen’s steal turned into two Brunson free throws. And then Brunson fed Augustus for a layup and the lead was 10.

It was still at 10 late in the quarter when the Lynx got the dagger. With 33.3 seconds left, Monica Wright (nine points) hit a three-pointer, Minnesota’s first of the game. After a Storm miss, Moore stepped back and hit another three-pointer with 1.8 seconds left to push the lead to 62-48 entering the fourth quarter.

And that was it, a 22-12 third quarter that pretty much settled the game, with Moore scoring nine of the points, Augustus six.

“That’s what they do to you,” Seattle coach Brian Agler said. “When you turn the ball over, they can score on you quick.”

Minnesota, 5-0 vs. the Storm this season, is the only home team to win its series-opening game. Indeed, after watching Chicago, Los Angeles and Atlanta all get upset, Reeve’s mantra of not overlooking the Storm took hold. “Upset City doesn’t live here, in Minneapolis,” she said.

Not yet, despite 14 points from Storm guard Temeka Johnson and a Seattle defense intent on slowing the Lynx down.

Minnesota improved its home playoff record to 10-1 since 2011. The two teams will meet at 4 p.m. Sunday in the Tacoma Dome in the second game.

“It’s a closeout situation,” Augustus said. “It’s who wants it more. We know they’ll be hungry. They lose and they go home. They’ll give it their best shot. We just have to maintain the consistency we had on offense.”


  • related content

  • BOXSCORE: Lynx 80, Seattle 64

    Saturday September 21, 2013

  • Postgame: Lynx hold serve on home court

    Friday September 20, 2013

    Minnesota can close out series with Seattle on Sunday

  • Lynx Rebekkah Brunson tried to fight through the defense of the Storm'...

  • Maya Moore, left, and Seimone Augustus watched the Lynx reserves with intensity late in the fourth quarter despite the one-sided score.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions


Cincinnati - LP: J. Broxton 1 FINAL
Pittsburgh - WP: T. Watson 2
Minnesota - LP: T. May 1 FINAL
Baltimore - WP: M. Gonzalez 9
NY Yankees - WP: C. Capuano 6 FINAL
Toronto - LP: M. Buehrle 3
Philadelphia - LP: J. Diekman 1 FINAL
NY Mets - WP: J. deGrom 4
Boston - WP: A. Ranaudo 8 FINAL
Tampa Bay - LP: C. Archer 4
Miami - LP: C. Hatcher 2 FINAL
Atlanta - WP: D. Carpenter 5
Cleveland - WP: D. Salazar 6 FINAL
Kansas City - LP: J. Vargas 1
Detroit - WP: J. Verlander 7 FINAL
Chicago WSox - LP: S. Carroll 1
Texas - WP: S. Baker 13 FINAL
Houston - LP: B. Oberholtzer 6
Chicago Cubs - WP: N. Ramirez 7 FINAL
St. Louis - LP: P. Neshek 2
Colorado - LP: R. Brothers 2 FINAL
Arizona - WP: B. Ziegler 5
Oakland - LP: J. Lester 0 FINAL
LA Angels - WP: J. Weaver 4
Los Angeles - LP: K. Correia 2 FINAL
San Diego - WP: T. Stauffer 3
Washington - WP: J. Zimmermann 8 FINAL
Seattle - LP: F. Hernandez 3
Milwaukee - LP: W. Peralta 2 FINAL
San Francisco - WP: R. Vogelsong 13
Green Bay 9/4/14 7:30 PM
(21) Texas A&M 52 FINAL
(9) So Carolina 28
Wake Forest 10 FINAL
ULM 17
Boise State 13 FINAL
(18) Ole Miss 35
Tulane 31 FINAL
Tulsa 38
Rutgers 41 FINAL
Washington St 38
Weber State 14 FINAL
(19) Arizona State 45
Temple 37 FINAL
Vanderbilt 7
Connecticut 10
(6) Jacksonville St 7 FINAL
(8) Michigan State 45
Bowling Green 31 FINAL
Western Ky 59
TX-San Antonio 27 FINAL
Houston 7
Colorado State 31 FINAL
Colorado 17
Arizona 58
Penn State 7:30 AM
Troy 11:00 AM
(7) UCLA 11:00 AM
Western Mich 11:00 AM
(5) Ohio State 11:00 AM
Appalachian St 11:00 AM
Ga Southern 11:30 AM
NC State
Boston College 2:00 PM
West Virginia 2:30 PM
(2) Alabama
Rice 2:30 PM
(17) Notre Dame
(10) South Dakota St 2:30 PM
(24) Missouri
Fla Atlantic 2:30 PM
(22) Nebraska
California 2:30 PM
Marshall 2:30 PM
UC Davis 3:00 PM
(11) Stanford
Arkansas 3:00 PM
(6) Auburn
(16) Clemson 4:30 PM
(12) Georgia
Liberty 5:00 PM
(23) North Carolina
Ohio U 5:00 PM
Kent State
Louisiana Tech 6:00 PM
(4) Oklahoma
Idaho 6:00 PM
Stephen F Austin 6:10 PM
(20) Kansas State
Fresno State 6:30 PM
(15) USC
Southern Miss 6:30 PM
Miss State
Texas-El Paso 7:00 PM
New Mexico
North Texas 7:00 PM
(1) Florida State 7:00 PM
Oklahoma State
(14) Wisconsin 8:00 PM
(13) LSU
South Dakota 9:30 PM
(3) Oregon
(25) Washington 9:30 PM
Utah State 8/31/14 6:00 PM
SMU 8/31/14 6:30 PM
(10) Baylor
Miami-Florida 9/1/14 7:00 PM
Arizona 9/4/14 7:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Pittsburgh 9/5/14 6:00 PM
Boston College
Washington St 9/5/14 9:30 PM
Houston 3 FINAL
Sporting Kansas City 1
Ottawa 10 FINAL
Montreal 20
Winnipeg 8/31/14 3:00 PM
Toronto 9/1/14 12:00 PM
Edmonton 9/1/14 3:30 PM
Brt Columbia 9/5/14 6:30 PM
Calgary 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Hamilton 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Saskatchewan 9/7/14 3:00 PM
Minnesota 71 FINAL
Phoenix 85
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters