Weekend Recap: Maya's Debut
|Maya Moore scored 21 points in her WNBA debut this weekend|
David Sherman/NBAE/Getty Images
The first weekend of the 2011 WNBA season is officially in the books. Here’s a quick look at some of the big storylines and moments to come out of the weekend.
Friday night marked the start of the season as the Minnesota Lynx paid a visit to the Los Angeles Sparks. Maya Moore’s debut was an obvious highlight of the evening, but so too was the healthy return of 2008 MVP and Rookie of the Year Candace Parker. Teammate Tina Thompson kicked off the Sparks' season with the league's first regular season basket, padding her all-time scoring total to 6,439 points. A fitting start to the league's 15th season, to say the least. When all was said and done, Parker picked up right where she left off in 2010 with a 19-10 double-double en route to an 82-74 Los Angeles win.
As for Moore, it wasn’t a question of when but how she would score her first basket in the league. Would it be a lay-up? A free throw? She put that question to rest early in the game when she drilled a three-pointer from the top of the arc early in the first quarter. She’d finish the game with 21 points on 7-of-17 shooting, including 4-of-11 from three-point land.
While obviously not satisfied with the outcome of the game, the Lynx would have an opportunity to strike back at the Sparks Sunday in a rematch, the second part of a home-and-home weekend series. If Lynx fans weren’t already anticipating Moore’s debut on home court, then her postgame comments suggested it was going to be a different story in her second WNBA game.
“We know what we need to do Sunday,” she simply stated after Friday's loss.
Sure enough, the team knew exactly what it needed to do on Sunday as Minnesota went on to win by the final of 86-69 in front of over 10,000 fans at Target Center. The win not only provided the Lynx an opportunity to flip the script on the Sparks and pick up a win in the second game of the season, but it also snapped the franchise’s eight-game losing streak against Los Angeles that stemmed back to 2009.
“It’s about darn time,” said Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve in her postgame presser.
The loss may be even greater for the Sparks as Ticha Penicheiro rolled her ankle in the third quarter and had to be helped off the court. Penicheiro led the Sparks and the league with 6.9 assists per game last season.
Moore finished with 16 points in front of the home crowd as the Lynx registered their first win of 2011.
Here’s a look at how the rest of the games panned out this weekend:
Seattle 78, Phoenix 71
Seattle opened up its season Saturday afternoon against the Phoenix Mercury as the championship banner was raised to the rafters prior to the opening tip. 2010 MVP Lauren Jackson finished with 15 points, while Diana Taurasi registered 31 on 11-of-20 shooting.
Connecticut 89, Washington 73
Tina Charles led the Sun with 18 points and six rebounds in front of the home crowd at Mohegan Sun Arena while Nicky Anosike and Crystal Langhorne scored 16 points apiece for Washington.
Indiana 65, Chicago 57
San Antonio 93, Tulsa 73
Twenty-six first-half points resulted in Tulsa having to play a game of catch-up against San Antonio. Sophia Young led the Silver Stars with 20 points and Becky Hammon chipped in 18. Second-overall draft pick Elizabeth Cambage registered an 18-point, 10-rebound double-double in her regular season debut.
New York 94, Atlanta 88
Plenette Pierson led New York with 25 points in the Liberty's overtime win against the Atlanta Dream. Iziane Castro Marques scored a team-high 19 points for the Dream.
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