WNBA: Moore's double-double leads Silver Stars
SAN ANTONIO (AP) -- Maya Moore had 18 points and 12 rebounds to lead the Minnesota Lynx to an 81-62 victory over the San Antonio Silver Stars on Sunday.
Rebekkah Brunson added 15 points and 12 rebounds for the defending champion and league-leading Lynx (24-4). Lindsay Whalen and Monica Wright each added 11 points and rookie Devereaux Peters had 10.
Sophia Young scored 20 points for San Antonio (17-11), which lost its third straight at home and fifth in a row overall. No other Silver Stars player scored more than eight points.
Minnesota shot 55 percent (33 for 60) from the field in winning its 11th straight game.
"We played really well in the first half," Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve said. "Offensively, when the shots are falling, it is a lot of fun for the team."
In comparison, San Antonio finished 36 percent (24 for 66) from the field, including 4 for 18 on 3-pointers.
Minnesota dominated the second quarter, using its defense and ball movement to outscore San Antonio 25-11 to take an 18-point lead at the break.
"They were always the aggressor," Silver Stars coach Dan Hughes said. "They were always at the point where we were playing catch up to them. You have to give them a lot of credit because we were chasing them the entire game so what you saw was just reactions."
Peters hit a turnaround jumper with 1:38 left in the first half and Wright made a layup 19 seconds later to give the Lynx their largest lead at 45-24. After missing her first three shots, Shenise Johnson closed the first half by making consecutive shots to pull San Antonio to 47-29.
Minnesota was without Seimone Augustus, who was out with a sprained right foot, but the bench scored 22 points in her absence.
"Our bench takes a lot of pride in what they do," Moore said. "When they come in, we want the level of intensity not just to stay the same, but raise it."
Eight players scored in the second quarter for the Lynx, including 14 points from reserves.
ATLANTA -- Lindsey Harding and Armintie Price made sure that the Atlanta Dream bounced back from a tough double-overtime loss in their previous game.
Harding had 15 points and nine assists, Price scored nine of her 15 in the first quarter and the Dream led by 30 points while cruising to a victory over the Washington Mystics. Atlanta (16-14) shot 58 percent, had 29 assists on 40 baskets and scored scored 52 points in the paint.
On Friday night, the Dream squandered a 25-point halftime lead against defending champion Minnesota before losing 97-93 in two overtimes.
"We're at our best when we share the ball," Harding said. "We didn't play badly at Minnesota. We played well. We wanted to keep that same level of play and the same intensity."
Price believes the Dream, who have reached the WNBA Finals in each of the last two years before getting swept in the title round, can take something positive from the tough loss.
NEWARK, N.J. -- Cappie Pondexter had 21 points and a career-high 12 rebounds, Plenette Pierson scored 17 points, and the New York Liberty rallied to beat the Sparks.
Essence Carson scored 14 points, including 11 during a 21-3 run in the third quarter that gave the Liberty (12-17) the lead after they trailed by 14 points. New York also trailed by 15 points in the first half.
"We fought hard," said Pondexter, who also had eight assists. "At one point we were down almost 16 points. I told the guys at halftime that if we fight back and be victorious, it's going to feel even better than (just) winning."
Coupled with Chicago's 82-77 loss at Connecticut, New York moved a half-game ahead of Chicago for the fourth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. The Liberty have five games remaining - at home against Washington on Wednesday, followed by road games against the Mystics, San Antonio and Tulsa, and a home date against the Shock in the season finale on Sept. 22.
"We've got to play like we have to win every game," Liberty coach John Whisenant said. "If we get into the playoffs with a three-game series and we play as hard as we did tonight, there won't be anybody more athletically gifted like we played tonight."
UNCASVILLE, Conn. -- The Connecticut Sun needed to mix things up to get a needed home win.
Tina Charles scored 24 points to rally first-place Connecticut to a win over the Chicago Sky. Renee Montgomery had 12 points, Tan White added 11 and Kelsey Griffin 10 for Sun (21-8), who trailed by 14 late in the second quarter.
Charles shot 11 for 15 from the field to help Connecticut win for the sixth time in its last nine games. The Sun snapped a two-game skid at home and improved to 10-5 at Mohegan Sun Arena, one year after going 15-2 here.
"This was one of those ones we just had to keep scrambling," Sun coach Mike Thibault said. "We tried to do some different things to take away some of the advantages they had early in the game. ... Their players played terrific but I thought down the stretch defensively we did a terrific job especially playing small."
The Sun used a four-guard lineup at times, something they worked on during the Olympic break when Charles and power forward Asjha Jones were in London playing for the United States.
INDIANAPOLIS -- Katie Douglas scored a season-high 30 points to help the Indiana Fever beat the Phoenix Mercury.
Douglas shot 12 for 18 from the field and became just the 10th player in WNBA history to reach 5,000 career points. Tamika Catchings added 19 points and four steals for the Fever (19-9), who improved to 9-2 since the Olympic break.
"My teammates did a good job of finding me," Douglas said. "I was trying tonight to get a little closer to the basket. I was trying to take it off the dribble a little bit more. I missed several layups at San Antonio (on Friday). So I was trying to do a better job of finishing tonight."
The Fever made seven 3-pointers to give them a franchise-record 230 on the season -- eclipsing their mark of 226 -- with six games remaining. The WNBA record is 283.
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