SEATTLE (AP) Camille Little scored 13 of her career-high 31 points in the fourth quarter to lead the last-place Seattle Storm past the Minnesota Lynx 81-71 on Friday night.
Little hit 11 of 15 shots from the field, including two 3-pointers, and made 7 of 8 free throws as the Storm beat the Lynx for the second time in three weeks at home.
”I didn’t even know I had that many points,” said Little who broke her previous high of 28. ”I want us to win. We’ve been having some rough nights.”
Jenna O’Hea tied a career high with 15 points, all on 3s, for Seattle (7-10), which had lost three of four. Sue Bird added 11 points and nine assists, and Crystal Langhorne had 11 points and eight rebounds.
Maya Moore had 20 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Lynx (11-5), which dropped one-half game behind Phoenix atop the Western Conference. Damiris Dantas added 12 points and Lindsay Whalen 11.
The Lynx had won two in a row and three of four but stumbled again at Seattle, which handed them their first loss June 6 after seven wins to open the season.
”We had a nice defensive stand there towards the end of the fourth quarter, but we have to do that consistently and stop their runs,” said Moore, who scored 20 or more for the fifth straight game. ”That’s one of the big differences between our successful times and our tougher times – to be able to stop the bleeding and bounce back a little bit quicker than we have been in some of our losses.”
Seattle led by 14 in the final quarter before the Lynx pulled within six with three minutes left. But the Storm closed out with an 8-4 run.
Little scored eight, including six straight, early in the fourth quarter to help put the Storm up 66-52 with 6:56 remaining.
”She had an amazing night, she really did,” Storm coach Brian Agler said. ”I was real happy for her. She played well on both ends of the floor. She was really engaged. In a lot of ways she carried us.”
Little downplayed her role.
”I don’t play for that,” Little said about the career high. ”We won tonight. It’s not going to say Camille Little won. It says the Seattle Storm won and that’s what’s important to me.”
O’Hea scored nine and Bird seven to help give Seattle a 56-50 lead after three quarters. O’Hea hit three straight 3s to put the Storm up 47-38 before the Lynx rolled off 10 straight to take a momentary one-point lead.
”Jenna can shoot it,” Agler said. ”We started playing her more at the 3 spot. We like giving her open looks.”