Whalen leads Lynx past Storm in playoff opener
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- Lindsay Whalen scored 20 points, Seimone Augustus had 19 and the defending champion Minnesota Lynx beat the Seattle Storm 78-70 in the opener of the Western Conference semifinals Friday night.
Maya Moore added 16 points and Rebekkah Brunson had 12 points and 11 rebounds for the Lynx. Whalen also had six assists and four rebounds.
Rookie reserve Shekinna Stricklen had 13 points to lead Seattle. Katie Smith and Lauren Jackson added 12 points each.
Seattle twice rallied to pull within six points in the final 12 minutes, but Minnesota - 16-1 at home in the regular season,- pulled away again each time.
Moore and Augustus made clutch shots in the final two minutes and the Lynx made 5 of 6 free throws in the last 32 seconds to seal the win.
Game 2 is Sunday at Seattle.
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- Lindsey Harding scored 23 points to lead Atlanta past Indiana in the opener of the Eastern Conference semifinals.
WNBA scoring leader Angel McCoughtry added 16 points and nine rebounds for Atlanta, which beat Indiana in three games in the East finals a year ago.
Katie Douglas scored 13 points and Tamika Catchings had 10 points and 11 rebounds for the Fever.
The Dream jumped out to a 25-15 lead in the first quarter and were up by nine at the break. Atlanta scored 11 points off 11 Indiana turnovers in the first half.
Indiana went on a 13-0 run late in the fourth quarter to close the gap, but it wasn't enough.
Game 2 is Sunday in Atlanta.
Copyright 2012 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
Ducks fend off Blackhawks for shootout victory
Hurricanes stage surprising rally against Sharks