Moore, Brunson lead Lynx past Storm
SEATTLE (AP) — Seimone Augustus scored 22 points, Maya Moore
had 20 and Rebekkah Brunson had 20 points and 14 rebounds to lead the
Minnesota Lynx past the Seattle Storm 86-73 on Tuesday night for their
fifth consecutive win.
Moore and Augustus each hit four
3-pointers for defending champion Minnesota (18-4), which has the
league’s best record and has already clinched a playoff berth. Lindsay
Whalen had nine assists and Moore added eight rebounds and a season-high
“I love the balance of this team,”
Brunson said. “I think that’s something that makes us so good is we have
such a complete team. There are so many people who can do it on any
given night you don’t really know where the points or rebounds are going
to come from.”
Camille Little scored 20 points to lead
Seattle (10-12), which has lost two in a row at home for the first time
since July 2009. Sue Bird added 17 points and Tanisha Wright 11.
Little scored seven to help the Storm
cut the lead to five early in the fourth quarter before Moore, Augustus
and Brunson combined to score 15 straight points to make it 84-64.
“I think that was a point where we
started to get a little bit lax and we definitely started to play like
it was over,” Brunson said of the large lead that dropped to five. “For a
while we started to let up and they started to go on a run but we
huddled up and we got together and said we’ve got to play until the end
of the 40 minutes and that’s what we did.”
Seattle coach Brian Agler watched his team get back in the game only to see the Lynx pull away again.
“I don’t think we guarded Augustus real
well in that stretch and we didn’t get to Maya Moore a couple of
times,” Agler said. “It would have been nice to get stops defensively,
but they’re a good team.”
Monica Wright, who finished with 15
points, hit back-to-back 3’s to give Minnesota a 64-47 lead midway
through the third quarter. The Lynx matched a season high with 11 3’s.
Moore and Brunson scored 12 apiece and
Augustus added 10 to help the Lynx to a 52-43 halftime lead. The Lynx
led by 11 in the second quarter.
Minnesota constantly moved the ball to find the open players.
“We had 27 assists out of 35 field
goals and that’s just fun,” Moore said. “We do that night after night.
Everybody walks away for the most part feeling good and that they
Moore scored five during a 12-2 run to
help give the Lynx an 18-10 lead before Seattle used a 14-6 run to tie
it at 24-24 early in the second quarter. But Augustus and Wright scored
five each to start a 15-4 run to put the Lynx up 39-28.
The Lynx clinched a playoff berth with an 83-59 win over Tulsa on Sunday and continued to roll against the Storm.
“Clinching a playoff spot is just part
of the process,” Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve said. “I can tell you it’s not
anything that our players think about. We’ve got a lot of games to play
and we’ve got some big goals as do the teams that we’re fighting with.”
The Storm played without Ann Wauters
(strained Achilles), Tina Thompson (sprained knee) and three-time MVP
Lauren Jackson, who watched from the bench after flying in Monday from
Australia. Jackson has yet to play this season after playing for
Australia in the London Olympics.
“I’m looking forward to playing with
her again,” Bird said about Jackson. “She’s someone who has been a
partner in crime for the last 11 seasons. Whenever we’re back on the
floor together, it’s very comfortable. I think she puts us at ease.”