TULSA, Okla. (AP) — Lindsay Whalen helped the Minnesota Lynx break open a close game in the second quarter, and they didn’t look back.
Whalen scored 13 of her 21 points in the second period as the Lynx outscored Tulsa 31-12 and went on to a 101-70 victory over the Shock on Thursday night.
“Lindsay was just really, really good in that second quarter,” Minnesota coach Cheryl Reeve said. “She was the key to our transition game. She was really, really locked in from the get-go. There’s not better guard in the league at attacking the basket than Lindsay.”
The Lynx, who led by 26 in the early minutes of the third quarter, finished with a season-high scoring total.
Candice Wiggins added 18 points on 6-for-9 shooting from the field, reaching double-digits for the first time this season after going 5 for 22 in her last five games for the Lynx (6-3).
“Candice had been struggling,” Reeve said. “She had been in a little bit of a slump. After the Indiana game (when Wiggins had three points) I just thought she was ready to break out.”
Wiggins said she normally is a very positive person but admitted her faith was a little tested during the slump.
“Coach said I was struggling, that’s kind of her,” Wiggins said. “That doesn’t begin to say what I was. But I’m a confident person and I believe every time I shoot I think it is going in. That’s what I was holding on to tonight. You can’t lose that mentality. There’s no stopping me now.”
Rebekkah Brunson and Taj McWilliams-Franklin had 12 points each and Maya Moore scored 11 for Minnesota, which had lost consecutive games after a five-game winning streak.
“We were on a two-game losing streak and didn’t want it to go to three,” Whalen said. “Everyone had good moments tonight. That was the difference.”
Ivory Latta scored 13 points for Tulsa (1-9), finishing three shy of reaching 1,000 for her career.
“I had no idea,” Latta said. “All I care about is helping my team. All that other, the 1,000 points, they can have that. All I care about is winning.”
Kayla Pedersen scored 12 points, and Tiffany Jackson and Jennifer Lacy had 11 each for the Shock, who took their biggest home loss in franchise history.
Tulsa’s Sheryl Swoopes suffered a hamstring injury early in the game and did not return. She finished with five points in about 6 1/2 minutes. Initial thoughts were that Swoopes had suffered a ruptured hamstring but after the game she said she was good and would be ready to play the next game against Seattle on July 8.
“It’s alright,” Swoopes said. “A couple of days off will do my body some good. I know it’s not ruptured. It’s better than they thought.”
Tulsa forward Tiffany Jackson, who also had five rebounds and four assists, injured her thumb but the severity of the injury was unknown.
“Hopefully she can play,” Latta said. “We just have to stay positive and strong.”
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