Lynx Handle Tulsa, 83-59





Andrea Allis
Web Editorial Associate

Email

Tulsa may be in last place in the Western Conference, but the Lynx know they always come to play. So it came as no surprise that they struggled to shake the Shock for three quarters but put together a tough final frame for a 83-59 win at Target Center and a spot in the playoffs.

Leading by only one point after the first quarter and only three by halftime, the Lynx came together in that crucial fourth quarter, only allowing seven points from Tulsa while having their biggest offensive quarter of the game with 25 points.

Box Score LYNX BOXSCORE
Lynx vs. Shock
"I think we kind of turned up that intensity and that pressure midway through the third quarter, maybe fourth quarter there," guard Lindsay Whalen said. "We went on a little run and were able to get that little 10-point cushion, and from then on, we made our free throws in the fourth quarter, and we were able to make some plays."

The Lynx extended that 10-point lead with several clutch shots from Maya Moore as the Lynx went on a 22-5 run over the game’s final seven and a half minutes. Moore finished with 22 points, while Whalen added 15 and Augustus 14. The Shock's Glory Johnson carried much of the load for her team, scoring 17 points and grabbing 12 rebounds as the only player in double figures in either category.

Coach Cheryl Reeve said that clinching the playoff berth this early in the season doesn't mean much to the team, whose focus isn't on the long term, but on taking things one game at a time.

"I don't know that it says too much about our team," Reeve said. "It might say more about the teams at the bottom half of the conference than it does about us. It means absolutely nothing to us. That's not the mission. It's part of the process, but, you know, it is what it is."

Leader of the Pack: Maya Moore

Maya's Postgame Interview

DOWNLOAD MP3
Maya Moore had herself a night on both ends of the court, recording a game-high 22 points as well as 10 rebounds, six assists and four steals. She shot 7-of-13 from the field, including four 3-pointers, and came through with 10 points in the fourth quarter alone, propelling the offensive streak that secured the game for Minnesota.

"I thought that Tulsa was making some good plays, and it was playing off of our offense a little bit," Reeve said. "Once we cleaned up our offense, I thought it was more challenging. I thought Maya was good, once again. I think overall, we made pretty good adjustments. The team was pretty focused, and I think they had fun tonight."

Highlight of the Game

With her 497th assist made during the third quarter, point guard Lindsay Whalen surpassed the franchise record for assists set by Katie Smith. At the announcement of her record-breaking pass, Lynx fans showed their pride by giving her a standing ovation, applauding and cheering her on for her accomplishment. Whalen has now dished out 498 assists in a Lynx uniform, including her four in tonight's game.

"When you have to guard Lindsay, that creates openings, and she just has a great recognition no matter how she's played," Reeve said. "Whether it's a pick-and-roll game or whether it's help defense, she just understands where people are going to be."

The Numbers Game

The Lynx shot 50 percent from the floor and 53.3 percent from 3-point range, while holding the Shock to 35.3 percent and 24 percent, respectively. ... Minnesota held a 38-27 rebounding advantage over Tulsa. ...Second-chance points were not to be had by the Shock, who only scored five compared with the Lynx's 19.

Quotable

"That's Weezy, that's what she does. She's the master at getting the ball out there. And she always says thank you to us for hitting the shots, but she does an incredible job of finding us and putting us in a position to score baskets for her." —Seimone Augustus on Lindsay Whalen's assists record

Looking Ahead

The Lynx head out on the road to face the Storm in Seattle on Tuesday at 9 p.m. after which they'll head to Atlanta for a 6 p.m. game Saturday.


For more news and notes on the team follow the Minnesota Lynx on Twitter.

Target Center Renovation