Delle Donne, Record-Setting Moore Named WNBA Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week
NEW YORK, May 27, 2014 -- Elena Delle Donne of the Chicago Sky and Maya Moore of the Minnesota Lynx were named the WNBAs Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week, respectively, for games played May 16 through May 25.
For Delle Donne, the 2013 WNBA Rookie of the Year, the Player of the Week award is the fifth of her career. Despite All-Star teammates Sylvia Fowles and Epiphanny Prince both being sidelined, the second-year pro guided Chicago to its first 4-0 start in franchise history, posting four consecutive games of 20-plus points. Through the opening week, Delle Donne led the Eastern Conference in scoring (23.5 ppg), was second in blocks (2.0 bpg), behind teammate Jessica Brelands 2.5 bpg), and converted 30-of-32 free throw attempts (.938).
On opening day, May 16, her 23-point, five-rebound, three-assist effort included 16 second-half points as the Sky overcame a 10-point deficit to defeat the visiting Indiana Fever, 74-71. The following day, in front of a national viewing audience on ESPN2, Delle Donne led all scorers with 23 points and added five boards in a 79-65 win over the New York Liberty at Madison Square Garden.
She then poured in 27 points, including nine free throws in as many attempts, as Chicago downed the visiting Connecticut Sun, 87-73, on May 21. Delle Donne followed up that performance with 21 points, four blocks, and four rebounds in a 78-68 victory over the defending Eastern Conference champion Atlanta Dream on May 24.
For Moore, runner-up in the leagues MVP voting behind Candace Parker last season, the Player of the Week award is the sixth of her career.
Sparked by Moores 135 points the most prolific four-game scoring stretch in WNBA history the defending WNBA champion Lynx surged to a 4-0 start for the second time in the past three seasons (2012). The fourth-year pro also became the first player in WNBA history to post four consecutive games of 30-or-more points when she poured in 34 at Washington on May 16; 33 vs. Connecticut on May 18; a career-high 38 at Tulsa on May 23; and 30 vs. New York on May 24. The leagues leading scorer (33.8 ppg) through the first week of play, Moore also finished the week ranked sixth in rebounding (9.3 rpg).
While Moores 34 points (along with nine rebounds) in the 89-77 win at Washington equaled a Lynx opening day scoring record set by Katie Smith in 2000, she would go on to tally consecutive double-doubles in her next two outings, a 90-87 overtime win over Connecticut, and a 94-93 road win over the Tulsa Shock.
Against Connecticut, Moores 33 points and 12 rebounds were only part of the story as the fourth-year pro collected 10 points and a WNBA-record-tying five steals in the fourth quarter to help Minnesota erase a 16-point deficit in the second half. At Tulsa, her 38-point, 13-rebound output included the decisive free throws with 11.8 seconds left to play. While that effort enabled Moore to join Cynthia Cooper, Epiphany Prince and Angel McCoughtry as the only players in league history with three consecutive 30-point games, she became the first of the group whose effort included a pair of double-doubles.
Moore then etched her name atop the WNBA record book with a fourth straight game of 30-plus points when her 30 points propelled Minnesota past the visiting Liberty, 87-82.
Other candidates for WNBA Players of the Week were Atlantas Angel McCoughtry, Chicagos Jessica Breland, Connecticuts Chiney Ogwumike, Indianas Erlana Larkins, Los Angeles Candace Parker, New Yorks Tina Charles, San Antonios Danielle Robinson, Tulsas Skylar Diggins and Washingtons Emma Meesseman.