Moore, Augustus Lead Lynx To 90-74 Win Over Sun
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MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The last WNBA team to take the court this season, the Minnesota Lynx provided a reminder of just how explosive they can be offensively.
The Lynx showed just how difficult it is to stop Maya Moore and Seimone Augustus at the same time as they rolled to a 90-74 victory over the Connecticut Sun on Saturday night.
“We knew the effort would be really high, but we wanted the execution to be coupled with that,” Minnesota coach Cheryl Reeve said. “I thought for the most part we did that and I thought we were very hard to play against.
“Our nightmare would have been playing really hard but not being able to execute our stuff.”
That didn’t happen, largely because Moore (26 points) and Augustus (20 points) took turns dominating. Moore scored 18 points in the first half and Augustus scored all of her points in the final three quarters.
Moore and Augustus combined to shoot 20 for 32 from the floor as the Lynx (1-0) shot 50 percent.
“We were kind of liked caged animals, waiting to get unleashed,” Moore said of the Lynx’s wait to play their opener. “I was just being aggressive. My teammates set some good screens for me. When we’re aggressive and we’re connected like that, I know I play better and we all do.”
And when the defense starts to key on either Moore or Augustus, the other one gets a lot of room to operate.
“When you have Seimone hot, and then you run a couple of plays for Maya, it really makes it challenging for perimeter defenders,” Reeve said.
Moore scored nine points during a 13-2 run to open the second quarter. Her 3-pointer with 5:58 to play in the first half gave Minnesota a 34-20 lead and the Lynx led by double digits the rest of the way.
Kara Lawson made five 3-pointers and finished with 22 points for the Sun (1-2), and reigning WNBA MVP Tina Charles had her third double-double in three games with 22 points and 10 rebounds.
“They took it to us right from the first quarter all the way through the third when they put their bench in,” Sun coach Ann Donovan said. “They had their will and their way.”
Minnesota also showed it isn’t simply going to allow Phoenix or Los Angeles to win the Western Conference without a fight. The Lynx, after all, have won two consecutive Western Conference finals, winning the WNBA title in 2011 before losing to Indiana in last season’s finals.
While the last team to play, Minnesota will quickly play in a high-profile game when it hosts the Mercury on Thursday night.
“Of course we want to play against great players like Diana Taurasi, Brittney Griner and see what all the buzz is about,” Augustus said. “It’s great that we have them on our court, so we’ll have the momentum on our side.”
While the Lynx players were pleased with the lopsided victory, they quickly added that they aren’t a finished product.
“I know we can get better, there were definitely mistakes” Minnesota point guard Lindsay Whalen said. “But you have to be happy with a win at home to start things off.”
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