Lynx rout Atlanta 84-59 in Game 1 of WNBA Finals

  • Article by: KENT YOUNGBLOOD , Star Tribune
  • Updated: October 7, 2013 - 12:49 PM

The Lynx’s opening punch in the finals sent Atlanta reeling, with Maya Moore leading the way in the homecourt rout.

Seems just like old times, doesn’t it?

With a take-no-prisoners defense and a relentless offense, the Lynx began their quest for a second WNBA title in three years Sunday with an 84-59 dismantling of Atlanta in the first game of the best-of-five series, a rematch of a Lynx sweep of the Dream in the title series two years ago.

It was a first punch, both literally and figuratively, a physical statement of purpose that came within four points of matching the biggest win in WNBA Finals history. Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve called it just a step in the right direction. Atlanta coach Fred Williams said his team had been a step slow all night.

Maya Moore hit 10 of 16 shots on the way to a game-high 23 points. Seimone Augustus scored 19 and Monica Wright came off the Lynx bench and stuffed the stat sheet like a calzone. She scored a career playoff-best 20 points, had five rebounds, three assists, three steals and she took two charges.

“My teammates have all the confidence in the world in me,” Wright said, “and it was just falling tonight.”

Wright, Moore and Augustus combined to outscore the Dream by three points.

“Minnesota came out and threw a good punch,” Williams said. “And a lot of players on our end hit the floor pretty hard and felt the pain.”

Said Augustus: “Tonight was crazy. By far the best of the year.’’

With Rebekkah Brunson leading the way, the Lynx defense held McCoughtry — the two-time league leading scorer — to 17 points on 6-for-24 shooting. Atlanta lives with dribble penetration; the Lynx refused to allow it. The Lynx shot nearly 50 percent, the Dream shot 31.2, going 0-for-15 on three-pointers. Atlanta was fairly effective in the paint, scoring 44 points. But the Dream shot 2-for-36 outside the paint.

“It happens,” McCoughtry said. “Everybody has cold days. This was a cold day today. We’ll get in the gym, get some shots up and we’ll shoot better on Tuesday.”

It all turned on a monster 15-0 run that began with 5:30 left in the second quarter and the Lynx up by six. Over the next 3 minutes and 40 seconds Wright and Augustus each scored twice, Lindsay Whalen had a three-point play and five players scored in all in a run that pushed the lead to 21.

“It happened so fast I didn’t realize it,” Reeve said.

Said Augustus: “The vibe was great. The movement, the energy, everything felt like we were where we wanted to be.’’

Midway through the third quarter it appeared the Dream might creep back into the game, but a 12-0 run that started late in the third and bled into the fourth put an end to that.

So now the Dream will try to pick up the pieces and the Lynx will try to keep up the pace in Tuesday’s 7 p.m. Game 2. A year ago it was the Lynx trying to rebound from a Game 1 loss.

“We took that personal,” Moore said of that loss to Indiana, which set in motion a four-game loss to the Fever in the finals. “If you look at the way our season has kind of played out, you can tell we’re all trying to make a different ending to this season.”

 

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Tampa 6 FINAL
Philadelphia 2
LA Clippers 96 FINAL
Chicago 86
Cleveland 103 1st OT 0:01
Houston 105
Golden State 25 2nd Qtr 12:00
Boston 38
Philadelphia 16 1st Qtr 2:28
Indiana 17
Portland 32 1st Qtr 1:00
Sacramento 19
Charlotte 28 2nd Qtr
Orlando 22
Oklahoma City 5:30 PM
LA Lakers
New Orleans 7:00 PM
Denver
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Florida 2
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Monmouth 63
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Wake Forest 6
Oregon 6:00 PM
Stanford
Purdue 6:30 PM
Ohio State
Arizona State 7:30 PM
Colorado
Washington St 8:30 PM
UCLA
Georgetown 66 FINAL
Providence 81
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UMBC 73
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Hofstra 58
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Boston College 49
(8) Louisville 59 FINAL
Virginia 75
Texas 69 FINAL
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Oregon 62
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Texas-El Paso 60
Vanderbilt 38 2nd Half 7:52
(6) Tennessee 64
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(13) Kentucky 39
Utah 41 2nd Half 7:00
Arizona 53
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Nebraska 46
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