Lynx players danced and sang after a brief off-court  awards ceremony on Sunday. League president Laurel Richie presented them a trophy for winning the Western Conference title. They all got caps, too, recognizing their accomplishment. 

"I have a great team around me," said rookie forward Maya Moore, interviewed on the scene. "They are always talking to me, trying to encourage me, telling me different things to try to get an advantage. And I just try to work my hardest for them.

Asked how the Lynx could beat a Phoenix team loaded with veterans who had won WNBA titles in 2007 and 2009, Moorse said, "It starts from the top. Our coaching staff, they do a great job of making us prepared. Our scouting books. They challenge us, makng sure that we know -- it's books plural. [Lots of laughter.] They work so hard for us. Doing whatever they have to do to make sure we are prepared.

"And then our vets, our leaders. They come in and know what they are doing. They come in and set the bar. No mistakes from them and then it trinkles on down to the rest of us. It just is really a team effort. And when you prepare that way you can't help but be confident."


"In the second half we defended much better," Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve said. "We weren't happy in the first half with our defense. And we picked it up and we got rebounds. And we got some confidence on offense."

The Lynx trailed 45-43 at halftime, but outscored the Mercury 27-20 in the third quarter and 33-21 in the fourth to pull ahead.


On Taj McWilliams-Franklin: "Taj is amazing to be the oldest player out there. She is just so smart. She plays on angles, she knows what is exactly happening. There isn't anything she hasn't seen after all these years. She remains poised. My goodness, 21 [points] and seven assists and six rebounds. Just impressive. She is a warrior and I am really happy for her she is back in the finals."

On Maya Moore's six three-pointers: "We found Maya in easy opportunities because with our team you have to pick your poison. There was a lot of effort made on Seimone [Augustus]. Seimone was very tested, very challenged. As a results of that we were able to get other people involved. Whether it was Taj or someone like Maya who we found off of help defense, off of rotations. And she made shots. That is what she is paid to do. I was happy the rookie came through."

On Lynx's defense: "We were tough, we were really tough. We got some deflections, we forced some shots."


Single-game tickets for the Western Conference Finals will range from $20 ($15 for groups of 10 or more) to $205 ($185 for season ticket holders).

The schedule:

Game 1 Sunday at Minnesota, 7:30 p.m. ESPN2
Game 2 Wednesday, Oct. 5 at Minnesota, 7 p.m. ESPN2
Game 3 Friday, Oct. 7 at Atlanta/Indiana 7 p.m. ESPN2
Game 4 Sunday, Oct. 9 at Atlanta/Indiana 3:30 p.m., if needed ESPN2
** Game 5 Wednesday, Oct. 12 at Minnesota 7 p.m., if needed ESPN2