Maya Moore leads Minnesota in 86-80 win over Tulsa
The Minnesota Lynx (15-4) beat the Tulsa Shock 86-80 Saturday night at the BOK Center in front of 4,776 fans. The Lynx have dominated the season series against the Shock (10-10) for six straight years.
The Lynx led 45-39 at the half. It was the first home game of the season in which Tulsa has not led at halftime. The Shock is 0-4 when trailing at halftime this season.
Tulsa outscored Minnesota in the third, 20-19, after ending the quarter on an 11-3 run. The Lynx had a 22-21 scoring advantage in the fourth.
Tulsa is currently on a six-game losing streak and a four-game home losing streak. The six-game skid is the Shock’s worst losing streak since 2013. Tulsa is 1-13 against Minnesota at the BOK Center.
Maya Moore led the Lynx with 20 points. Sylvia Fowles added 19 points plus six rebounds, Tricia Liston scored 13 and Lindsay Whalen added 12 plus four assists. Rebekkah Brunson had eight points to go with her 12 rebounds.
Riquna Williams scored 35 points for the Shock, the individual single-game high for this season. She shot 11-of-23 from the field. She also shot 10-of-11 from the free throw line.
Plenette Pierson and Odyssey Sims scored 16 points each. Pierson also pulled down eight rebounds and Sims dished out eight assists.
Tulsa returns to action Tuesday at Phoenix. The Lynx travel to Los Angeles to face the Sparks on the same day.
- The Lynx tied a season high for points in the first quarter with 26, which also happened in their previous game, July 31 versus Atlanta
- Minnesota scored 45 points in the first half, which is two points shy of the Lynx’ season high for points scored in the first half. Minnesota scored 47 points in the first half against Atlanta on July 30.
- The Lynx set a new season high after the team knocked down nine three-point shots. The team’s previous season high was seven.
- The win marks the 10th time that the Lynx have held an opponent to less than 40 percent shooting.
Tulsa head coach Fred Williams
On the second half and the overall game
“It was a winnable game for us. I thought we could’ve, you know, pulled this one out today.”
Tulsa center Courtney Paris
On being prepared for Minnesota
“Just come in and get a good practice and be ready to go. I mean it doesn’t get any easier. It’s two talented teams. Minnesota picked up Sylvia Fowles, so they’ve got a little bit more going for them now. We’ve just got to have a good practice and be ready the next day.”
Tulsa forward Plenette Pierson
On finishing in the second half
“I think we need to buckle down and do what we did in the first half. We have a tendency to go away from that. We have a tendency to go away from our defensive scheme, our offensive scheme. What we really have to do is just focus on staying together and playing together, and staying with our offensive scheme and our defensive scheme and just executing. That’s what it comes down to at the end of the game is just executing.”
Tulsa forward/guard Karima Christmas
On coming out stronger in the third quarter
“We didn’t come out as well as we wanted to. I think that’s something that we kind of need to be focusing on more, especially before the break. You know, our third quarters haven’t been our best quarters, so coming out after halftime and, you know, bringing that same energy that we had in the first half.”
Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve
On what makes tough matchup with Tulsa
“Two really good teams with really good players, they had a player that was really good tonight, got hot, in Riquna Williams, she really made things extremely challenging. Other really good players, you have Plenette, an All-Star, who give that veteran leadership. They have really good production all around, as do we. This game was played in spurts.”
On recent transactions and how they are fitting in:
“Really good, we are still, we are at that point in the season where we don’t have a lot of practice time, so the challenge is to, because you know, they are key players, who are playing key roles for us, Sylvia coming in right away and being a starter, and how to try and figure out how the Lynx do things, so we try to manage that and keep things simple but at the same time, we try and run some of the stuff we like to run, same thing for Renee, she got here pretty quick, but we are at the point where we are just playing games, so both of those players, and Anna Cruz have just taken it by themselves to learn quickly, and just try and fit in where they can.”
Lynx forward Maya Moore
On her slow start and strong second half
“Just staying in there, trying to stay locked in and focused on the moment and just hoping eventually things would follow through as far as making good decisions, our team does such a good job of just fighting through some of their runs. Riquna played really well and got really hot. Good team win as far as people stepping up and different times. Sylvia had a great game as well and kept us in it in the first half. Whalen started the game off well. I was just trying to contribute; rebound, pass, screen, run, defend, whatever it called for in the moment.”
On matchup with Tulsa
“They are a very aggressive team, they push the ball, they like to score. They are really fast; they have guards that like to push the ball. They like to get in the paint, they do a great job of rebounding the ball and scoring in the paint. So those offensive rebounds are going to give them second chances, and it creates a high volume scoring team. We have to stay focused on our defense and when we do that we generally have success.”
On new additions and how they fit in
“They are great. They are excited to be here. We are just trying to show them all the little things we do to create the culture we have here in Minnesota. So far so good, they take instruction very well, we are trying to over-communicate, so they don’t feel like they are lost out there. Renee is going to be more comfortable with the offense, and Sylvia is so unstoppable when she gets it in her sweet spots. We (the team) has to continue to understand that we have her inside, we are so used to have passing/shooting centers, so you know, it’s been nice.”
Lynx center Sylvia Fowles
On how she fits in with the team
“I think it’s been going OK for the most part, my teammates have been doing a good job of getting me acclimated to the coaching staff, basically telling me where I need to be in plays.”
Biggest struggle changing systems
“Here in Minnesota, coach Reeve wants me under the basket playing defense at all times, so I get caught sometimes trying to go out on the perimeter players while they shoot, that’s something I’m getting used to, and I got caught slipping a couple of times in the second half, and uh, she wasn’t too pleased about it.”
By the Numbers
Points in the Paint: Lynx 26, Shock 28
Second Chance Points: Lynx 17, Shock 22
Fastbreak Points: Lynx 16, Shock 13
Biggest Lead: Lynx 13, Shock 7
Lead Changes: 1
Times Tied: 3