Lynx finish regular season with win, top seed in WNBA playoffs

ST. PAUL, Minn. — Maya Moore scored 26 points and Renee Montgomery added 18 to help the Minnesota Lynx secure the top seed in the playoffs with an 86-72 victory over the Washington Mystics on Sunday.

Minnesota (27-7) finished the season a game ahead of Los Angeles (26-8). Both teams have byes until the semifinals.

“That was crucial getting the top seed,” Lynx center Sylvia Fowles told The Associated Press in a phone interview Sunday. “We understood we made it hard for ourselves, but we came in and got those last three games.”

Washington (18-16) is the sixth seed and plays the Dallas Wings on Wednesday.

Kristi Toliver hit a 3-pointer with 4:28 remaining to pull Washington within 80-71, but Moore answered at the other end and the Mystics didn’t score again until the 2:09 mark.

Toliver led Washington with 20 points. Elena Delle Donne added 12 points in just 18 minutes and Krystal Thomas grabbed 14 rebounds.

It was Minnesota’s final game at the Xcel Energy Center as the Lynx will play their home playoff games at the University of Minnesota’s Williams Arena. The team is moving to accommodate the Minnesota Wild’s preseason schedule.

The semifinals will begin Sept. 12 in Minnesota and Los Angeles with the WNBA Finals starting Sept. 24.

“It’s going to be good to have some rest,” Fowles said. “We had two of our starters that have been out. Lindsay Whalen’s still trying to get her way back. That will be big to get her back and (having the time off) will help with that.”