TULSA, Okla. (AP) — Maya Moore scored 26 points — two shy of her career-high — and Minnesota beat the winless Tulsa Shock 93-73 on Saturday night as the Lynx tied the WNBA record with their ninth straight win to open the season.
The Lynx (9-0) matched the 2001 and 2003 Los Angeles Sparks for most victories to start a season.
Moore, the league’s reigning rookie of the year, scored 14 points in the third quarter when the Lynx pulled away to a 70-58 lead.
Minnesota coach Cheryl Reeve said Moore keyed the 26-16 run that allowed the defending WNBA champions to take control.
“This was a fun game for Maya, she was poised and yet she was aggressive,” Reeve said. “She took some tough shots, missed some easy ones, made some tough ones. All-in-all, she hit some timely shots for us in the third quarter when we really needed her.”
Monica Wright scored 18 points for Minnesota, while Rebekkah Brunson added 15 and Taj McWilliams-Franklin had 11.
Moore, who was 9-of-19 from the field, deflected the attention to her teammates.
“We had 23 assists on 34 field goals,” Moore said. “Lindsay Whalen was phenomenal with 10 assists. We really shared the ball well.”
Jennifer Lacy had 15 points, all in the first half, for the Shock (0-8), while Temeka Johnson scored 14 points and Karima Christmas added 11.
“Tulsa had our full attention. There was no talk that this was a winless team,” Reeve said. “They’ve been in most of their games and had a chance to win at least a couple of games. So, they had our full attention. It wasn’t a surprise to us that they held tough in the first half.”
Lacy, who made four 3-pointers in the first half, missed all three of her shots in the second.
“She got off for some 3-pointers and at halftime we talked about forcing her out of her comfort zone,” Reeve said.
The Lynx got going in the second half.
“When we put up the numbers we did tonight, it’s good,” said Moore, who will represent the U.S. in the Olympics. “It’s going to be a long summer and I’m trying to pace myself.
“I’m just trying to grow and learn and compete,” she said. “At this level, your mistakes are magnified. Everyone is bigger, stronger, faster in the WNBA than in college. Every day is a learning experience. I’m just trying to become the player I know I can be in this league.”
Shock coach Gary Kloppenburg said he enjoys watching Moore play.
“She’s a winner. She just makes everything look easy. She has that pace about her,” he said. “If she wasn’t doing it against my team, I might enjoy it a little more.”
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