Moore, Augustus Score 22, Lift Lynx Over Shock
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Minnesota’s top players made sure the Lynx didn’t come up short again.
Maya Moore and Seimone Augustus both scored 22 points, and the Lynx rebounded from their worst performance of the season to beat the Tulsa Shock 88-79 on Sunday night.
Lindsay Whalen had 19 points and nine assists for Minnesota (6-2), which has won four of five. Rebekkah Brunson had 11 points and 11 rebounds.
The Lynx have beaten Tulsa 13 straight times.
“We took a step forward,” Moore said.
In a 28-point loss on Friday at Los Angeles, Augustus, Moore, Whalen and Brunson combined for just 11 points on 5 of 22 shooting. They were a combined 25-for-41 on Sunday.
“We wanted to put our foot down and get back to what we do,” Augustus said. “We got the shots we wanted, we crashed the boards. We did what we were supposed to do in L.A.”
Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve was impressed with the way her team responded.
“They came back and played much, much more like the Lynx players that we’ve seen,” she said.
Moore had 15 points in the first half, Augustus added 14, and Whalen 11 as Minnesota shot 60.7 percent and took a 49-40 lead into halftime. The Lynx finished shooting 53.3 percent. Tulsa shot 42 percent.
“Just pick your poison with that team,” said Shock guard Skylar Diggins, who tied a season high with 11 assists.
Whalen had four points, and Moore hit a 3 in the closing seconds of the second quarter to cap an 11-2 run and put the Lynx in command.
“This game was our best finish to quarters, and we really pride ourselves on end-of-quarter execution,” Reeve said. “Each play that we had in the last 3 or 4 minutes came off our defense, running our twofer situations.”
Moore also made a 3-pointer in the waning seconds of the third quarter to give the Lynx a 69-55 lead.
The Shock (3-8) didn’t get closer than nine points the rest of the way in losing for the first time in three games.
Glory Johnson scored 24 points and had eight rebounds to lead Tulsa. Former Lynx guard Candice Wiggins had 14, and Nicole Powell had 11, including three 3-pointers.
“That’s a championship level team and I thought we fought them right down until the end,” Shock coach Gary Kloppenburg said. “We got a steal and had a chance to make it eight late in the game. Then, all of a sudden, the thing where you make a mistake and they capitalize happened.”
Reeve had a sense before the game that Whalen would be Minnesota’s sparkplug.
“We spend a fair amount of time before the game talking, re-emphasizing game plan areas, and I thought she had a determination about her in the tone of voice and her approach,” Reeve said. “I thought she willed our team to play the way that we played in that game.
“She was determined to make things happen and create more of a tempo for our team because we thought we got away from that in the last game.”
Whalen, who attempted 14 free throws, shrugged off her coach’s praise.
“I just wanted to come out and be aggressive from the start,” she said. “Maya and Seimone hitting shots were huge, and me getting to the line was big for us. All the things really came through for us.”
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