Moore scores WNBA All-Star record 30, leads West past East
UNCASVILLE, Conn. — Maya Moore scored a record 30 points to lead the West to a 117-112 victory over the East on Saturday in the WNBA All-Star Game.
The league’s reigning MVP scored eight straight points in the final 2 minutes to turn a one-point deficit into a 113-106 advantage. After a basket by the East cut it to a four-point game, the Minnesota forward hit another deep 3 to seal the victory.
Moore surpassed Shoni Schimmel’s 29 points in last year’s overtime game. The former UConn great was honored as the game’s MVP.
The West’s victory was the All-Star swan song for Indiana star Tamika Catchings, who has played in a record 10 of them. She is planning to retire at the end of next season and the WNBA typically doesn’t play All-Star games in Olympic years.
Catchings became the league’s career leader in All-Star points with a putback in the second quarter right after she broke up a potential dunk attempt by Brittney Griner on a fast break. Griner later got a two-handed slam midway through the third quarter. She followed it up on the next possession with a 3-pointer that gave the West its first lead since early in the game.
The West opened up a double-digit lead before the East rallied behind Connecticut Sun star Alex Bentley, who was playing in front of her home crowd.
The game became tight in the fourth before Moore took over in the final minutes.
While Catchings played in her All-Star finale, the future of the league is bright with so many talented young stars, including Griner and the league’s leading scorer Elena Delle Donne. Griner finished with 21 points for the West.
Delle Donne, who was the leading vote-getter this season, made her first All-Star appearance. The Chicago Sky star was voted in the last two years as a starter as well, but couldn’t play because of injuries.
Playing in the game was just part of what was special for Delle Donne. She also wore a pair of shoes designed by Matthew Walzer, a 19-year-old college student who challenged Nike to make a shoe for people with disabilities. Delle Donne’s sister, Lizzie, has cerebral palsy and is blind and deaf.
The All-Star met the designer on Friday and he was in the stands watching the game Saturday.
"It truly was the highlight of the weekend for me," Delle Donne said. "These are shoes that are going to make a difference for people."
Delle Donne wasn’t the only All-Star making her debut. There were 10 first-timers — the most since 2011. One All-Star rookie was Plenette Pierson, who is in her 13th year in the league. Pierson had fun during one timeout, taking a cheerleader’s pom-poms and leading the fans in a cheer.
Bentley, another All-Star newbie, responded by getting the fans, which included NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, to cheer even louder. Bentley left her mark on the court as well, converting a spectacular reverse layup in the second quarter by throwing the ball high off the glass before it dropped in the basket.
She led the East with 23 points.
The start of the game was delayed when water came down on the court from the ceiling during pregame introductions. The teams missed their first six shots before Schimmel, last year’s game MVP, got things going with a 3-pointer.
The East was off and running, building a 34-24 lead after the first quarter.
Even without stars Skylar Diggins, Lindsay Whalen and Seimone Augustus, who were sidelined by injuries, there was still plenty of offense for the West. Injury replacement Kayla McBride, another first-timer, scored 13 points in the first half to help keep the West in the game. It trailed 59-58 at the break.