Two WNBA teams continued going in opposite directions on Friday at Target Center.
With five starters scoring in double figures, the Lynx beat San Antonio 85-75. Their fourth victory in a row puts the long-struggling Lynx on the verge of the first Western Conference title in the franchise's 13-year history.
The Lynx's magic number is one over Phoenix and Seattle. One victory by the Lynx (22-6) in their final six regular-season games would assure them of the title, as would one loss by both their closest pursuers.
San Antonio (13-14) lost its fifth consecutive game and is battling Los Angeles for the final playoff spot in the West.
The Lynx are 3-0 vs. the Silver Stars; they meet again Sunday in Texas. They won the first two games by one and two points on buzzer-beaters. The latest meeting went back and forth until the Lynx opened the fourth quarter with a 17-1 run.
As the third announced sellout crowd of 9,212 cheered, the Lynx built a 20-point lead at 78-58. Rookie Maya Moore had eight points in the run, with two three-pointers.
"I just know it was contagious," Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve said, referring to her players' inspired play the first five minutes of the fourth quarter. "I thought Lindsay Whalen was flying all over the place and trying to block shots. She just really turned it up."
So did Moore.
"Offensively Moore got them to another level," San Antonio coach Dan Hughes said. "And then they just kind of separated -- bang. They have a lot of weapons and those weapons went to work right then."
Seimone Augustus finished with a game-high 19 points. Moore, on a night when hundreds of fans arrived early to get a bobblehead of her, had 18 points, 15 in the second half. Whalen, the point guard, added 14 points and nine assists.
"I was just trying to hustle," said Moore, who had seven rebounds and two assists. She had zero and four points her first two games against San Antonio.
This night the zero in the scoring column was behind Silver Stars guard Becky Hammon's name. Augustus shackled Hammon, who had been averaging a team-high 16 points and was 17 points from becoming the seventh player in WNBA history to score 5,000.
But Hammon was 0-for-8 from the floor, including 0-for-3 behind the arc. She did have nine assists.
"I told [Seimone] this was a big day for her defensively," Reeve said. " 'Mone has not heard that very often in her career, and she rose to the challenge."
San Antonio's promising season turned sour when rookie forward Danielle Adams, who was averaging 14.3 points, injured her right foot July 26 against Washington. At the time, the Silver Stars were 10-5. They won their next game but are 2-9 in August.
Adams was back on the court for the first time Friday and scored 10 points, helping the Silver Stars' bench outscore Lynx reserves 39-4.
The Lynx starters -- and a 37-23 rebounding dominance -- more than offset that discrepancy.