MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Minnesota Lynx’s second-half surge happened so quickly that Maya Moore was caught unaware when she looked up at the scoreboard.
Moore had 26 points and nine rebounds and the Lynx beat the San Antonio Stars 88-72 on Friday night to improve to 6-0.
Lindsay Whalen added 19 points, and Damiris Dantas had 17 for the defending WNBA champion Lynx (6-0), the lone unbeaten team in the league.
Minnesota outscored the Stars 33-10 in the third quarter to break open a close game and take a 20-point lead into the final frame.
“This game had kind of a funky feel. It never felt like we had enough cushion. I looked up and was kind of surprised that we were up by so much; it just didn’t feel that way,” Moore said.
That might be because she didn’t have a starring role in the spurt.
Dantas had eight points and Janel McCarville all seven of her points, including a 3-point play after stealing a pass under the basket, as Minnesota used a 22-6 run to start the third and turn a 3-point halftime deficit into a 58-45 lead.
Moore did score on a putback and made a 3-pointer a couple minutes later to make it 65-45.
San Antonio was 3 for 14 from the field with nine turnovers in the quarter.
“They made some adjustments and they were full go ahead,” said Jia Perkins, who led the Stars with 15 points.
Dantas missed the final 6:42 of the first half after being elbowed in the head by Kayla Alexander.
With Dantas lying on the court with her hand to her nose, Lynx trainer Chuck Barta quickly came out to tend to her before a timeout was called and the Minnesota bench was whistled for a technical foul.
“It was the wrong administration of a situation,” coach Cheryl Reeve said. “We should have been given an opportunity to take a timeout with an injured player. The whole thing was handled incorrectly. … It was a flagrant foul. They should have reviewed it.”
The way the rookie Dantas bounced back impressed Reeve.
“It says with a big bump on her nose she’s pretty good…. It says a lot that she’s able to fight through it and focus.”
Danielle Adams and Danielle Robinson each had 11 points for San Antonio (3-3). Kayla McBride, who had 30 points in Wednesday’s win over Tulsa, scored just nine, all on shots from beyond the arc.
San Antonio made 14 3-pointers — four by Perkins. The Stars had just 21 3-pointers in their first five games.
“I think we can do that on a fairly regular basis,” said coach Dan Hughes. “We don’t have a lot of size on the perimeter, so that’s our way of dealing with it.”
Down by 17, Perkins made a pair of 3-pointers and Shameka Christon one as the Stars cut the deficit to 77-67 with 4:20 to play, but Minnesota made six of seven free throws down the stretch and the Stars went more than 3 minutes without a point.
The teams meet again Sunday afternoon in Texas.
Minnesota forward Devereaux Peters didn’t score any points, but committed three fouls, in three minutes. She missed the team’s first five games after undergoing arthroscopic surgery on her left knee May 7.
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