Augustus recently signed a contract extension with the Lynx.
When Milt Newton was finishing up his graduate studies at Kansas, he told anyone that would listen that his goal was to one day become an NBA general manager. It took him 22 years to get there, but Newton has finally arrived. That the opportunity is coming in the place where his wife grew up and under the man he befriended while they worked together in Washington made it worth the wait.
The Minnesota Lynx wanted to send a message to visiting teams about how tough it will be to beat them at home. Maya Moore scored 25 of her 30 points in the first half to lead the Lynx to a 97-74 victory over the Seattle Storm on Saturday night. Moore shot 12 for 15 from the field to help Minnesota to its fifth win in six games. “We did embrace it as a message game,” Minnesota coach Cheryl Reeve said. “Particularly at the Target Center we want to send those messages to every team that plays here. You’re going to have to play really well to come in here and beat us.”
Maya Moore scored a career-high 35 points and the Minnesota Lynx beat the Indiana Fever 84-77 Saturday night. Seimone Augustus had 17 points and Janel McCarville added 12 for the Lynx (20-7), who won for the third time in four games and lead Los Angeles by 1½ games atop the Western Conference. Tamika Catchings scored 22 points and Shavonte Zellous had 19 as the Fever (12-15) fell a half-game behind Washington for third place in the Eastern Conference. Indiana has lost four of five and five of seven.
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The Minnesota Timberwolves are working on re-signing restricted free agent Nikola Pekovic. President of basketball operations Flip Saunders says talks are “moving in a positive direction.” Saunders has met with Pekovic’s agent, Jeff Schwartz, and has extended an offer of four years and $48 million. The two sides continue to have discussions that Saunders termed cordial. He says he believes both sides eventually will “have a meeting of the minds” and get a deal done.
Lindsay Whalen scored 22 points, Seimone Augustus added 18 and the Minnesota Lynx beat the Seattle Storm 90-72 Sunday night for their 18th straight home win,. Rebekkah Brunson had 12 points and 11 rebounds and Maya Moore scored 16 points as Minnesota (16-3) extended its overall winning streak to nine games. Minnesota’s home win streak, dating back to last season, is tied with the 2010-11 Storm teams for the third longest streak in WNBA history. Los Angeles won a record 28 straight at home from 2000-02 and 19 in a row from 2012-13.
Troy Bell has seen it all in his basketball career. From Holy Angels High School to Boston College, to a first-round pick in the NBA to a career overseas. Because of that, he has perspective and an appreciation for where he’s been. Bell is spending the summer sharpening his game in the Howard Pulley summer league before he returns to his now hometown team in Italy.
Kevin Martin learned a lot in his one year in Oklahoma City, about playing for a contender, about using team defensive principles to account for individual weaknesses and about tailoring his game to what’s needed from him. The simplest truth turned out to be the most important to him — life is a whole lot easier playing alongside a couple of stars like Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. Now he’s hoping Kevin Love and Ricky Rubio will have the same effect in Minnesota. “After playing with Kevin Durant and Russell, I wasn’t going to another team without a superstar,” Martin said on Saturday. “It just elevates your game and makes your life a lot easier.
Andre Hollins saw Mo Walker this spring before leaving for Italy on a study abroad program, and Minnesota’s standout point guard noticed a change in his big teammate’s physique. Walker had lost about 15 pounds. One month later, upon Hollins’ return to campus in mid-June, the junior-to-be could hardly believe his eyes. The 6-foot-10 Walker has shed about 45 pounds.
The Iowa Energy will be the Minnesota Timberwolves’ NBA Development League affiliate for the 2013-14 season. The NBA announced the move Monday. This is the first season the teams have been paired as affiliates to develop young players. The Timberwolves had been paired with the Sioux Falls Skyforce for the previous seven seasons. The Iowa Energy are entering their seventh season in the NBDL. The team, owned by a group of Iowa businessmen, won the NBDL title in 2011.
Oklahoma City Thunder star Kevin Durant is engaged to Minnesota Lynx guard Monica Wright. Wright confirmed the engagement following Minnesota’s 91-59 victory over the Phoenix Mercury on Sunday night. Durant, who was selected with the second overall pick in the 2007 draft, just completed his sixth season in the NBA. The 24-year-old forward averaged 28.1 points, 7.9 rebounds and 4.6 assists last season.
Maya Moore scored 14 of her 23 points in the third quarter and the Minnesota Lynx earned their 10th straight victory over Phoenix, beating the Mercury 91-59 on Sunday night. Monica Wright added 17 and Lindsay Whalen chipped in 14 for the Lynx, who earned their third victory over the Mercury this season in a winning streak that dates to 2011. Minnesota’s defense set the tone in the first half, holding the league’s No. 1 offense to 29 points on 32.5 percent shooting while also forcing nine Mercury turnovers.
The Minnesota Timberwolves have waived center Greg Stiemsma and forward Mickael Gelabale. The team announced the moves Sunday. Stiemsma played in 76 games for the Wolves last season, where he average 4 points and 3.4 rebounds in 15.9 minutes per game. The team signed the 6’11 center as a free agent last August. Gelabale played in 36 games a year ago for Minnesota, and posted average of 5 points and 2.8 rebounds in 17.9 minutes per contest. The team signed the 6’7 forward to a pair of 10-day contracts in January, then for the remainder of last season in February.
Mitch Ohnstad loves basketball. He trains players in the sport, and his wife coaches a high school team. And oh yeah, he still plays the game at a high level, 17 years since he was named Minnesota’s Mr. Basketball while at Faribault High School. “Growing up in Faribault and not far from the Twin Cities, I was able to follow the University of Minnesota, and grew up with the dream of playing there. And had a lot of opportunities playing in Faribault, being able to play as a young player coming up in eighth grade, being able to play varsity.