To get it out of the way, the final score:
Team Candace Parker beat Team Elena Delle Donne in the WNBA All-Star Game on Saturday 119-112 in front of an announced 15,922 fans at Target Center, the biggest All-Star Game crowd since 2007.
Because, when experiencing the fun (and game) of an All-Star Game, the final score is down a bit on the list of memories. So, capping off a strong weekend in which the state of Minnesota and Lynx fans acquitted themselves so well, here are some of the more entertaining things fans saw in downtown Minneapolis:
• Maya Moore getting a trophy to take home. Moore scored 18 points, tying Allie Quigley for most on Team Parker, and was awarded the game’s MVP trophy. For the third straight time.
• Liz Cambage, Team Parker’s 6-8 center, playing point guard. And loving it. Cambage, who made her second All-Star appearance in her first year back in the league since 2013, scored 11 points, had eight rebounds, made one of four three-pointers (styling after the make) and looked pretty good handling the ball, one time driving from the top of the key for a score.
But, enough’s enough. Late in the game, after Krisi Toliver’s 15 fourth-quarter points — she went 5-for-5 on threes — had cut a 14-point Team Parker lead to three with 1 minute, 18 seconds left, Parker made her point clear in a timeout.
“You can ask both of us,” Parker said, looking at Delle Donne. “We’re both for positionless basketball. I told her, ‘All right, Liz, like, you can shoot threes, I get it. But now we need a layup.”
Out of the timeout Skylar Diggins-Smith fed Cambage for that layup, icing the game.
Brittney Griner also hit a three-pointer. Lynx center Sylvia Fowles, who has only made one regular-season three, took two, and was clearly disappointed one didn’t fall. “The corner threes are my spot at practice,” she said. “Better luck next time.”
• Fowles, playing for Team Delle Donne, actually trying to win an opening tip. If you follow the Lynx, you know how odd this is. She won, too. Afterward, though, she was more interested in talking about the fun she had being a part of the host team at the event, with three teammates — Moore, Seimone Augustus and Rebekkah Brunson — there too.
“I was salty we were on different teams,” she said. “It was bittersweet to see [Moore and Brunson] win. I wanted to win. But for us to have four All-Stars, on our home floor, in front of these amazing fans, it meant everything.”
Said Moore: “I told Syl she wasn’t allowed to block my shot, and that worked out. Seimone was chattering a little bit. But it was fun, to be able to do this. I was giving Seimone looks in the tunnel before the intro. Just really fun. For a day.”
• More drama being created in the halftime three-point shooting contest — won in overtime by Quigley — than in the actual game. The players were falling over themselves in the OT session as Quigley scored an incredible 29 points.
• Tina Charles doing the hand signals for the song “YMCA” during a late timeout.
• The success of the new format that abolished conference teams in favor of rosters chosen by the captains. It was a definite hit, but, with next year’s game at Las Vegas, the criteria for picking the team might change.
“Who’s going to be in their beds, getting their rest?” Delle Donne said. “And who will be hitting the street? That’s how we’ll be picking.”
• More Cambage: With the clock ticking down and the game decided, the ball was in her hands. She drove and dunked for the final basket.
“I’m getting old now,” she joked. “But Candace made me go dunk it.”
• And, finally, seeing Parker and Diana Taurasi cheered by a crowd at Target Center.
“A Minnesota fan high-fived me,” Parker said. “And I was like, ‘Whoa.’ I mean, it’s great. You saw the crowd, their support for the team. And that’s the main thing in the WNBA, when we have fans, even if they’re against you, they rally behind their team. I respect that. So it was fun. It was a great All-Star Game. They did a great job putting it on.”