Four ties in second half not enough to overturn Lynx


WNBA | Target Center

August 24, 2013

MINNEAPOLIS – Maya Moore scored a career-high 35 points on 15-of-21 shooting Saturday night to lead the Minnesota Lynx to an 84-74 win over the Indiana Fever in a rematch of the 2012 WNBA Finals. Moore hit three 3-pointers and added eight rebounds to pace Minnesota to its second straight win.

The Lynx (20-7), the WNBA’s first team to 20 wins, shot 57.8 percent from the floor while handing Indiana (12-15) its fifth loss in its past seven games. Indiana fell a half-game behind third-place Washington in the Eastern Conference standings.

Indiana never led, but tied the score four times in the second half.

After Indiana’s Jeanette Pohlen’s 3-pointer knotted the score at 72 with 5:10 remaining, Moore took matters into her own hands with a matching 3-pointer to give Minnesota the lead it never relinquished. Moore’s next bucket with 2:49 to play capped a 10-0 Lynx run to command an 82-72 lead and match its largest lead of the game.

“They got a lot of transition buckets and down the stretch, Maya just kept knocking down shots,” said Tamika Catchings, who led Indiana with 22 points on 8-of-14 from the floor and three 3-pointers of her own. Catchings added a game-high 10 rebounds for the 86th double-double of her career.

“I thought we did about all we could to compete on their home floor,” said Fever coach Lin Dunn. “When they’re healthy and hitting on all cylinders, they’re awfully tough.”

“I thought we put ourselves in position to win,” she added, “but every possession is golden and we just couldn’t take advantage.”

Seimone Augustus added 17 points for Minnesota and Janel McCarville scored 12. Point guard Lindsay Whalen had nine points, nine rebounds and seven assists.

Joining Catchings in double figures for Indiana were Shavonte Zellous, who scored 19, and rookie Layshia Clarendon who added a career-best 11 points. Briann January had nine points and a season-high seven assists.

Minnesota led by as many as 10 points in the first half while using an early rebounding edge and shooting 50 percent from the floor. The Fever got a 3-pointer from Clarendon to pull within 37-35 at the intermission.

Erlana Larkins’ layup knotted the score just seconds into the third period, but it didn’t stop the Lynx from building an eight-point lead, 59-51, on Moore’s 3-pointer with 2:30 left in the quarter. Indiana answered with an 8-0 run, capped by Jessica Breland’s only basket, for another tie.

Minnesota led 61-60 entering the fourth and stretched its lead to seven, 71-64, on consecutive baskets by Moore. Clarendon started an 8-1 Fever run with a jumper followed by 3-pointers from Catchings and Pohlen, tying the score before Minnesota’s final surge.

Overall, Indiana shot 46 percent and used a season-high ten 3-pointers (10-of-20) to counter the Lynx’ shooting and 30-24 rebounding advantage.

Indiana continues a stretch of four straight road games next Friday when it visits the New York Liberty (7p). Subsequent road games include Atlanta and Chicago before the Fever hosts Connecticut on Saturday, Sept. 7 for Breast Health Awareness Night.