Before the Minnesota Lynx’s last contest, Maya Moore said she wasn’t concerned about the club’s recent struggles snowballing into the postseason.
Given Moore’s success against the Tulsa Shock this season, they may not have trouble getting on track before the playoffs.
In the midst of their longest losing streak of the season, the Lynx host the Shock on Saturday night in the regular-season finale for both teams.
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Minnesota (24-9) won 11 straight from July 8-Aug. 7 before losing late leads in defeats to Western Conference-leading Phoenix last Saturday and Los Angeles on Tuesday.
Moore expressed her confidence that the Lynx would bounce back before the playoffs started, but they suffered their worst defeat of the season in Friday’s 92-76 loss to San Antonio.
Minnesota, which will be the West’s No. 2 seed in the postseason, got 20 points from Moore and 15 from Tan White.
The Lynx have won all four meetings this season with Tulsa (12-21), which has lost two straight and will miss the playoffs for the fifth straight year.
The Shock haven’t won this many games since relocating from Detroit prior to the 2010 season, but that hardly means this has been a successful campaign.
Tulsa has a solid core for the future in second-year star Skylar Diggins, rookie Odyssey Sims, center Courtney Paris and forward Glory Johnson, though the supporting cast may need some revamping during the offseason.
Diggins scored all of her game-high 24 points in the second half of Friday’s 92-76 loss to Atlanta, and Sims was the only other in double figures with 23. Johnson, who Thursday accepted an engagement proposal from Phoenix star Brittney Griner, scored six points and went 1 for 6 from the field.
Tulsa was outscored 24-6 in the second quarter.
”(Atlanta) is a team that if you don’t come out ready to play, they will run right over you,” said Diggins, who shot 0 for 6 in the first half but went 7 for 11 in the second. ”And that’s exactly what they did to us in the first half.”
If the Shock hope to end the season on a high note, they’ll have to do a better job of containing Moore. The WNBA’s leading scorer has averaged 35.8 points in the season series, recording four of her single-season league-record 12 games with at least 30 points.
Moore, who hit two free throws with 11.8 seconds left and scored 38 points in a 94-93 win in the first matchup May 23, netted 40 against Tulsa on Aug. 2. Minnesota won 84-75 despite Sims’ 25 points.