Maya Moore continues to enjoy the finest season of her career, helping the Minnesota Lynx flourish despite the absence of Seimone Augustus.
Coming off a performance for the ages, she’ll look to lead the Lynx to their eighth straight victory over the visiting San Antonio Stars on Friday night.
Moore scored 48 – three shy of the highest total in WNBA history – in a 112-108 double-overtime home victory over Eastern Conference-leading Atlanta on Tuesday, Minnesota’s fifth straight win and seventh in eight games. She was 16 of 30 from the field and made a career-high seven 3-pointers on nine attempts.
"We needed every one of them," coach Cheryl Reeve said of Moore’s points. "And she had their full attention. That’s what’s impressive. They’re not trying to let her drop 48 points on their heads."
It marked Moore’s record-tying 10th game with 30-plus points this season. She also recorded 10 rebounds, four assists and two steals and leads the league with 25.1 points per game.
"I knew the one way I could hurt my team was by thinking too much," Moore said. "If it’s my shot and I’m open, shoot the ball. If it’s not, pass it to an open teammate. I’m just thankful. Sometimes they go in, sometimes they don’t."
Augustus missed her eighth straight game due to left knee bursitis. She’s averaging 17.2 points.
Minnesota (18-6) did get a boost from the season debut of three-time All-Star forward Rebekkah Brunson, who had 17 points and 12 rebounds after being sidelined following knee surgery.
San Antonio (12-12) comes off a 95-93 win over Tulsa on Tuesday night. Kayla McBride scored 23 and Danielle Robinson added 21, including the game-winning layup with 3.5 seconds left.
"When (Robinson) gets in the gut, it’s just over," said guard Becky Hammon, who announced her intentions to retire after the season on Wednesday. "People have to pick who they want to score at that point because somebody is going to score when she gets in there like that."
Hammon, a six-time All-Star, is the franchise’s all-time leader in assists and ranks seventh in league history in points.
"I’ve been mulling the decision over the past three or four months," Hammon said. "I just decided that it’s the right time, the right moment and the right place. I wanted to let some things die down and give myself to mid-July to see where my body’s at. I knew the time was right now."