Souhan: Lynx's Moore turns flawed night into fabulous

  • Article by: JIM SOUHAN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: July 31, 2014 - 11:48 PM

Lynx star Maya Moore struggled mightily before she took over vs. Phoenix.

Lynx forward Maya Moore was 3-for-13 entering the fourth quarter, but became the difference-maker down the stretch.

Photo: Stacy Bengs • Associated Press,

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

Maya Moore hasn’t failed at much in life, and this summer she has followed her high school, college and Olympic dominance with a season that might win her the WNBA Most Valuable Player Award.

Thursday night, though, she experienced one of those games that every great basketball player stumbles across once in a while. She couldn’t find her shot with a GPS. Not for three quarters. Not until she played, in the fourth quarter, as if the “Mayo Clinic” logo on the front of the Lynx’s jerseys was off by a letter.

The fourth quarter was a Maya Clinic.

For 30 minutes, she couldn’t have bought a basket if she had gotten Bill Gates to co-sign the loan. Then she checked another box on the MVP to-do list, dominating the best team in the league when her team needed her most.

If basketball is a game of runs, Moore started the fourth quarter like she was channeling Usain Bolt.

The Lynx had taken a one-point lead into the fourth. At that point, Moore was 3-for-13 from the field, and 0-for-2 from the three-point line.

The first time she touched the ball in the fourth, she converted a Tim Duncan-like bank shot.

“Anytime you can get something easy, close to the basket, in rhythm, it helps,” she said.

A couple of minutes later, she took a tap-pass after in-bounding the ball and hit an open three-pointer. Then she collapsed on Phoenix star center Brittney Griner for a steal, drew a foul on Phoenix’s Diana Taurasi, then hit another three.

By the end of that outburst, the Lynx led 64-52 on the way to a 75-67 victory. Moore’s final line: 20 points on 7-for-20 shooting, nine rebounds, four steals, three assists and a block.

Phoenix entered at 22-3, with a 16-game winning streak and a seven-game road winning streak. Minnesota, winner of two of the past three WNBA titles, entered at 20-6, with a seven-game winning streak and nine consecutive home victories.

Moore used a big game to show off her willingness to do the little things.

At the end of the first quarter, Lynx point guard Lindsay Whalen went to the hoop and got knocked to the floor. Moore was on the bench. She sprinted to help Whalen up, reaching her before the Lynx players on the floor.

When Phoenix cut the lead to 66-60 with less than four minutes remaining, Moore leapt over a few bodies near Phoenix’s bench to save a ball, then ripped a rebound from Taurasi’s hands.

With less than three minutes left, Phoenix cut the lead to 66-63.

On the next trip down the floor, Moore cut along the baseline, caught a pass, drew a foul and hit both shots.

After Griner hit two free throws to make it 71-67, Moore caught a pass on the wing, paused and swished a jumper to make it 73-67.

She had reached 20 points the hard way, helping the Lynx produce an encouraging victory against the team most capable of preventing yet another Minnesota title.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions


Team Irvin 25 3rd Qtr 0:09
Team Carter 28
Miami 96 FINAL
Chicago 84
Oklahoma City 98 FINAL
Cleveland 108
Dallas 106 FINAL
New Orleans 109
Indiana 106 FINAL
Orlando 99
LA Clippers 120 FINAL
Phoenix 100
Minnesota 100 FINAL
Atlanta 112
Detroit 110 FINAL
Toronto 114
Milwaukee 95 FINAL
San Antonio 101
Boston 111 FINAL
Golden State 114
Washington 117 1st OT 0:10
Denver 112
Houston 52 3rd Qtr
LA Lakers 36
Team Toews 17 FINAL
Team Foligno 12
South Florida 53 FINAL
Connecticut 66
Boston College 64 FINAL
Georgia Tech 62
Virginia 50 FINAL
Virginia Tech 47
Indiana 70 FINAL
Ohio State 82
Stony Brook 61 FINAL
Binghamton 54
Cincinnati 56 FINAL
UCF 46
Maine 70 FINAL
Hartford 61
Monmouth 64 FINAL
Manhattan 71
Fairfield 67 FINAL
Marist 73
Rowan 48 FINAL
Princeton 96
St Bonaventure 48 FINAL
Rhode Island 53
Duke 77 FINAL
St Johns 68
Saint Peters 69 FINAL
Siena 55
Drake 40 FINAL
Wichita State 74
Vermont 61 FINAL
UMass Lowell 50
Seton Hall 57 FINAL
Butler 77
South Alabama 55
Northern Iowa 54 FINAL
Illinois State 53
Louisville 80 FINAL
Pittsburgh 68
Albany 69
Niagara 64 FINAL
Iona 87
Notre Dame 81 FINAL
NC State 78
Belmont 63 FINAL
Tennessee St 55
Creighton 50 FINAL
Villanova 71
Northwestern 67 FINAL
Maryland 68
Washington 56 FINAL
Utah 77
Senior-North 34 FINAL
Senior-South 13
Seton Hall 99 FINAL
Georgetown 85
St Johns 69 FINAL
Villanova 81
Arkansas 58 FINAL
Florida 72
Maine 56 FINAL
Vanderbilt 55 FINAL
Alabama 52
Lafayette 60 FINAL
Lehigh 65
SMU 57
Utah 51 FINAL
Washington 63
James Madison 73 FINAL
Coll of Charleston 53
Delaware 56 FINAL
Drexel 61
Hofstra 56 FINAL
William & Mary 57
Hartford 58 FINAL
Albany 82
Binghamton 54 FINAL
Stony Brook 67
Towson 63 FINAL
UNC-Wilmington 71
Wake Forest 80 FINAL
(17) Florida State 110
Georgia Tech 68 FINAL
Virginia 62
(22) Georgia 51 FINAL
(5) Tennessee 59
Drake 79 FINAL
Evansville 62
Iona 80 FINAL
Canisius 62
Fairfield 33 FINAL
Monmouth 59
Northwestern 75 FINAL
Penn State 76
Wisconsin 71 FINAL
Michigan State 77
Ohio State 79 FINAL
Purdue 71
Northern Iowa 57 FINAL
Indiana State 55
Butler 58 FINAL
Xavier 54
Creighton 93 FINAL
Marquette 75
Providence 42 FINAL
DePaul 90
Northeastern 77 FINAL
Elon 80
(2) Connecticut 96 FINAL
Cincinnati 31
Oregon 78 FINAL
Arizona 81
Bradley 46 FINAL
Loyola-Chicago 45
NC State 49 FINAL
(23) Syracuse 66
(7) Maryland 84 FINAL
Indiana 74
Illinois State 35 FINAL
Missouri State 58
Colorado 68 FINAL
Washington St 73
Tulane 45 FINAL
South Florida 64
(14) Kentucky 83 FINAL
Missouri 69
(9) Oregon State 68 FINAL
(13) Arizona State 57
Vermont 63 FINAL
UMass Lowell 72
Iowa State 58 FINAL
(8) Texas 57
Southern Ill 61 FINAL
Wichita State 80
(15) Duke 74 FINAL
(12) North Carolina 67
Miami-Florida 55 FINAL
(4) Louisville 68
(21) Minnesota 61 FINAL
(25) Rutgers 66
California 72 FINAL
(11) Stanford 71 FINAL
USC 60
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters