TULSA, Okla. (AP) Tulsa is quickly becoming a home away from home for the Minnesota Lynx.
Maya Moore scored 33 points and Lindsay Whalen fell a rebound short of a triple double to help the Lynx hold off the Tulsa Shock for a 91-85 victory Thursday night.
The victory was the ninth straight road win for Minnesota (15-6) in Tulsa. The Shock’s last home win against the Lynx was a 92-79 victory on June 4, 2010.
Moore started with 15 points in the first quarter and finished with 10 points in the fourth, including eight unanswered points to help the Lynx withstand a late rally by Tulsa (7-13).
Moore shot 12 of 21 from the floor and was 8 for 8 at the free throw line. She added 11 rebounds.
Whalen finished with 21 points, 10 assists and nine rebounds, scoring 14 of her points in the second half to help the Lynx claim their fourth win in the last five games.
”She is the epitome of what we want our team to be,” Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve said of Whalen. ”She has a great understanding of the game and her play-calling is tremendous.”
After trailing by as many as eight points early in the second half, Tulsa tied the game for the last time at 71-all in the opening minute of the fourth quarter on a free throw by Courtney Paris.
Minnesota then went on a run to open a seven-point lead. Tulsa closed again, getting within two down the stretch before Moore scored eight of her team’s final 12 points to keep the Shock at bay. Whalen contributed seven points during the final period, including three late free throws.
Skylar Diggins had 21 points and a career-high 12 assists for Tulsa, which lost its fifth straight game at home and third in its current four-game homestand. The Shock have dropped their five home games by a combined 16 points. Their last home victory was an 85-79 win June 15 against Seattle.
Glory Johnson added 17 points and 12 rebounds for Tulsa, and Odyssey Sims had 17 points and Courtney Paris 13.
During her big first quarter, Moore hit 4 of 6 shots from the floor and all six of her free throws to help Minnesota to an eight-point lead. Diggins countered with nine points and the Shock trailed just 26-24 after one quarter.
Sims’ 3-pointer with 8:41 to play in the second quarter gave the Shock their only lead of the game, 29-28.
Moore opened the second half with a pair of baskets as the Lynx led by eight points, matching their largest margin of the night. Tulsa rallied again, getting back-to-back 3s from Roneeka Hodges that triggered a 14-6 run and knotted the game at 65 at 4:48 of the third quarter.
”We’re getting there,” Tulsa head coach Fred Williams said. ”We just have to keep tough. Everybody seems to be knocking each other off so we still have a chance at a playoff spot.”
Moore had her fourth game this season of 30 or more points. Entering Thursday night, she had the three highest single-game scoring performances of the season.