Big Fourth Quarter Leads Lynx Over Shock
Candice Wiggins scored 25 points, Maya Moore had 24 and the Minnesota Lynx beat the Tulsa Shock 107-86 on Tuesday.
Seimone Augustus added 17 points, Lindsay Whalen had 14 and Taj McWilliams-Franklin 12 for the Lynx (13-4), who finished with a season-high scoring total.
Moore, playing power forward for the first time in place of the injured Rebekkah Brunson, shot 8 for 12 from the field and 6 for 6 from the free-throw line.
"Maya was tremendous playing the 4 position for the first time,'' Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve said. "She was really poised and made plays for us.''
The Lynx shot a WNBA-record 69.5 percent from the field (41 of 59), topping the previous mark of 65.4 percent by Los Angeles on June 15, 2005.
"Minnesota is really good,'' Tulsa coach Gary Kloppenburg said. "The second half we tried to get up, really fight them and they hit some difficult shots. It is tough when teams are making tough shots like that. That type of percentage is going to be difficult to overcome for anybody.''
Wiggins also shot 8 for 12, including 6 for 9 on 3-pointers.
The Lynx led by five at halftime and stretched the advantage to 10 midway through the third quarter. However, Tulsa pulled within one in the opening minute of the fourth before Wiggins scored eight points during Minnesota's 18-2 run to pull away for good.
"They shot the ball very well,'' Tulsa's Ivory Latta said. "They really executed their offense down the stretch. We had some `fall aparts' in our defense, which we can't let happen on a team like that. We've got to get ready and regroup.''
Latta scored 25 points on 10-for-14 shooting, including 5 for 8 on 3s, to lead the Shock (3-13). Kayla Pedersen added 12 points and Glory Johnson had 11.
"It was a really hard game,'' Reeve said. "Latta ended up dropping 25 points on us and she was really hard to guard. We know that when we play Tulsa it is going to be a really hard game and you have to stay the course. We had a couple turnovers and (Tulsa) got their wheels rolling. Anytime there was an open 3 they knocked it down.''
Tulsa jumped out to an early lead but the Lynx rallied in the second quarter to take a 51-46 lead at the break. Minnesota increased the margin to 10 points in the third before the Shock pulled to 76-75 in the opening minute of the fourth.
The Lynx then had their big run.
"We played them tough for three quarters,'' Kloppenburg said. "That last quarter we had, they did a pretty good job of getting us pressure and setting us up in the back court. We had difficulty getting into our offense and scoring. Wiggins really stepped up big hit some big 3s in the quarter.''
The same two teams will meet against Thursday at Minnesota before the league begins a monthlong break for the Olympics.
"It is a big game for us going into the break,'' Whalen said. "We need to come out again and be ready to go. It will be another tough matchup because we just played today. We have to go out and have energy and be ready to go.''