Maya Moore put on one of the best scoring displays in the history of the WNBA, and it was barely enough to lift Minnesota.
Moore scored 48 points, the second-most ever in the league, to help the Lynx beat the Atlanta Dream 112-108 in double overtime.
She hit 16 of 30 shots from the field, including 7 of 9 from beyond the arc. The 48 points are just short of the record 51 scored by Tulsa’s Riquna Williams last season.
"We needed every one of them," Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve said of Moore’s points. "And she had their full attention. That’s what’s impressive. They’re not trying to let her drop 48 points on their heads."
Moore now has scored 30 or more points in 10 games this year, tying the league record with 10 games to play. She also displayed her versatility on Tuesday with 10 rebounds, four assists, two steals and a blocked shot at the end of regulation to force overtime.
She attributed her big night to keeping the game plan simple.
"I knew the one way I could hurt my team was by thinking too much," Moore said. "If it’s my shot and I’m open, shoot the ball. If it’s not, pass it to an open teammate. . I’m just thankful. Sometimes they go in, sometimes they don’t."
Lindsay Whalen scored 26 points and Rebekkah Brunson added 17 points and 12 rebounds in her first game of the season. The 2013 All-Star missed the first 23 games of the season after undergoing knee surgery.
Sancho Lyttle had 26 points and 12 rebounds, while Tiffany Hayes scored 22 and Angel McCoughtry added 21 for the Dream, who were playing without coach Michael Cooper. The team announced Monday that Cooper is taking a temporary leave of absence and will have surgery this week in Atlanta. The Dream say a full recovery is expected.
"As a group, to go through what they’re going through and remain focused, and to come in here and play in this type of environment and play so well, I’m really proud of this team," Atlanta assistant coach Karleen Thompson said.
The Dream trailed by as much as 14 in the fourth quarter, but they closed regulation on an 18-4 run to force overtime. In the first extra session, Hayes and McCoughtry hit consecutive 3s to put Atlanta on top 95-89. But Moore answered with a 3 of her own and Whalen eventually tied it with a jumper.
In the second overtime, Moore drained two long jump shots as the Lynx pulled out to a five-point lead and Tan White made a pull-up jumper with 38.4 seconds left to ice Minnesota’s fifth straight win.
Moore had 23 points in a fast-paced first half and finished regulation with 40. She’s had to pick up some of the scoring burden in the absence of Seimone Augustus, who missed her eighth straight game with bursitis in her left knee.
"This team has a lot, and you have to pick and choose your poison with them," Thompson said. "But Maya was just in the zone tonight. She’s, obviously, a great player, and she’s capable of doing that on any given night."