UNCASVILLE, Conn. (AP) —The Minnesota Lynx finally have their WNBA championship team back together.
Maya Moore had 17 points, seven rebounds and four assists to help Minnesota beat the Connecticut Sun 76-65 on Sunday.
Rebekkah Brunson had nine points and 10 rebounds for the Lynx (20-6) and Janel McCarville had 11 points and seven rebounds. Seimone Augustus also scored 13.
Kelsey Bone had 15 points and nine rebounds and Alyssa Thomas added eight points and nine rebounds for the Sun (10-16), who have lost 10 of 12.
It was just the second game in which defending WNBA champion Minnesota had its entire team available. Brunson missed the first 24 games after knee surgery. Augustus returned Friday after being out eight games with a knee injury.
“It’s been nice having the depth that we have,” Minnesota coach Cheryl Reeve said. “Whay and Maya, J-Mac, Tan (White) and Monie (Monica Wright) just really held the fort down. We’ve have a lot to be proud of.
“There’s a lot of people who could’ve handled it differently and felt sorry for ourselves. Maya has been terrific, as you guys know, in this run. Whalen has been really, really good and above her (scoring) average. They’re just warriors; just that competitive drive that fuels them every day. It’s fun to be around.”
It was another frustrating game for Connecticut as it needed a late surge to push its field goal percentage to just under 33 percent.
“(Minnesota) is one of the best teams in the league,” Bone said. “Tonight, it really came down to shots falling. I think if we could have hit a couple of more outside jumpers and force them to play a little more defense, you’d see a different ball game.”
Minnesota led for all but 47 seconds in the first quarter. Tan White’s 3-pointer gave the Lynx a 17-16 lead with 3:08 left in the first quarter and they never relinquished it.
McCarville banked in a 3-pointer to give the Lynx their biggest lead, 57-40, with over a minute left in the third quarter.
Connecticut managed to rally despite its offensive woes. Katie Douglas’ 3-pointer with over a minute left cut the Sun’s deficit to 72-65.
“I was pleased tonight that we didn’t lose our focus defensively,” Connecticut coach Anne Donovan said. “Too often in our past we have not knocked shots down and the game gets away from us. I liked what we did. . We just didn’t knock shots down.”
The Lynx shot 48 percent.
“There is no question we have had more struggles than other teams in the league over the past season with injuries and other aspects that have made our season harder than usual,” Moore said. “Now that we have overcome some of those obstacles — and we are not where we want to be yet — but we have everything that we need to get there now that everyone is healthy and locked in.
“I like having the cards in our hands now and it is up to us.”
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