Lynx Top Fever 86-79
Web Editorial Associate
"It's fun to win at home. When you win at home, you have a chance to have a special season," coach Cheryl Reeve said.
"It was a surprise to our players that we won three out of the four quarters," Reeve said. "It just didn't feel like that. So, we did what we had to do, and that's a good team. That's a very good team, and defensively they were very good, so I was happy that we were able to solve."
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Maya Moore led the Lynx with 29 points, and Lindsay Whalen added 13 points, eight rebounds and six assists. Devereaux Peters saw just under 30 minutes tonight and finished with 10 points and seven rebounds.
The Fever managed 11 3-pointers from only three players: four each from Katie Douglas and Briann January and three from Tamika Catchings. They finished with the bulk of Indiana's points, as Catchings had 19 (as well as 10 rebounds), Douglas had 17 and January had 14.
"It's great; it's good to end off the season at home with a win," said Whalen. "And I know the fans were really excited tonight. At times we struggled, but we knew it was going to be a struggle with Indiana. [When you] play a team twice in four days, it's going to be tough. Luckily, we made shots and got some defensive stops when we needed to. Maya was huge, and she seemed to really pull us through there in the third [quarter]."
In an uncharacteristically lopsided scoring night for the Lynx, Maya Moore exploded for 29 points. But she had stats all over the floor with seven rebounds, three assists, two steals and two blocked shots. Moore also drained six 3-pointers (6-of-8), a career-high for a single game, including five in the third quarter.
"I think the key was Maya at the four [position]," said Reeve of the Lynx's offensive efforts. "Maya hitting a franchise-record five threes in that third quarter -- that just really turned things for us, really opened things up."
Moore's 3-pointers gave her 15 of the team's 25 third-quarter points, allowing them to tie the Fever and turn the tide of the game.
"We wanted to really make a statement in the second half," Moore said. "I thought we got out-worked a little bit in the first half. So, just trying to be aggressive. Just one of those night where the shot's feeling good, so you keep shooting. And my teammates found me."
Highlight of the Game
With three minutes remaining to play, the Lynx were hitting their stride when Devereaux Peters grabbed a defensive rebound and shot a quick outlet pass to Augustus, who drove the length of the court and dished it to Lindsay Whalen, who finished with a layup. The play gave the Lynx an 81-73 lead and was a turning point for the team, forcing a Fever timeout and igniting the Target Center crowd.
The Numbers Game
The Fever hit 11 3-pointers tonight, while the Lynx had nine. ... The Lynx held a 37-25 rebounding advantage, including a 17-12 offensive rebound differential. ... Taj McWilliams-Franklin scored eight points tonight, placing her only two points away from being the second player in WNBA history to join the 5,000 point/3,000 rebound club. (Lisa Leslie is currently the only player to achieve the feat.) ... The Fever had 40 points in the paint to the Lynx's 36, but Minnesota finished with 26 second-chance points, while Indiana had 20.
"We want to win every home game. That's who we are, that's what we want to do for our fans. They make it so much easier for us [with] the energy that they bring, the excitement, the way they stay in every single game. So, I'm just glad we could end the regular season on the right note and set [a franchise record].
"I think our team in general is playing at a very high level. We're starting to hit our stride at the right time. Even though we've won a lot of games, we still don't feel like we've reached the potential of this team. Beating Indiana was pretty big for us, and then winning at home here. The way we came back from adversity shows a lot about this team. So sometimes it's not going to be pretty, but I love the way this team fights back." -- Maya Moore
Tonight concludes the Lynx’s home schedule for the regular season. They head out to L.A. for the next matchup against the Sparks on Thursday at 9:30 p.m. and then take on Phoenix on Friday at 9 p.m. They’ll play their last game of the regular season down in San Antonio the following Sunday at 2 p.m.
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