The Minnesota Lynx defeated the Phoenix Mercury on Wednesday, 85-78.
The Lynx after falling behind 6-2 went on an 11-0 run and held a lead throughout the better part of four quarters. But Phoenix managed to keep within striking distance, and made things interesting late when they embarked on a 14-0 run to tie things up with time winding down in the final frame.
Maya Moore scored what proved to be the game winning layup after the Mercury’s Penny Taylor had knocked down a 3-pointer to tie the game at 77 with 49.6 seconds left to play. The Lynx secured victory by going on an 8-1 run after committing 10 turnovers that Phoenix turned into 14 points.
Taylor scored 25 (18 of which came during the fourth quarter) in the losing effort and was ultimately outdone by Moore, who tallied four rebounds and two assists to go with her season-high 34 points (11-of-18 FG, 3-of-5 3PM-A, 9-11 FT) as the Lynx improved 4-0 after beating Phoenix for the second time this season.
Diana Taurasi was rendered ineffective, finishing with 12 points (3-of-15 FG, 2-of-12 3PM-A, 4-of-4 FT), six rebounds, six assists, two steals and seven turnovers. She scored just two points during the second half.
Brittney Griner spent most of the evening on the bench after having picked up three fouls no more than five minutes into the opening quarter. She, like Taurasi, struggled to find a grove and was essentially a non-factor, scoring just four points to go with six rebounds and two blocked shots in just over 20 minutes of playing time.
Phoenix regardless of whether Griner was on the floor struggled to defend Sylvia Fowles, who through four games ranks second in the WNBA in field goal percentage (65.3). Fowles collected eight rebounds and knocked down some difficult shots on her way to scoring 18 points (8-of-14 FG, 2-of-2 FT).
Rookie Keisha Hampton scored her first points of the season during the second quarter when she connected on a 3-pointer that had given the Lynx a nine point lead.
“These are great teams we’re playing against,” Moore told John Focke after the game.
“Every team is different and has their own energy and style. [Phoenix] definitely likes to score quickly, using those mid-picks, and we had to fight — it’s not an easy ballgame when you’ve got good players coming off those screens and rolling to the rim.”
See all of Maya Moore’s 34 points in the video below.
The Lynx take on the Indiana Fever on Friday, May 27.