Lynx crush Mercury

Published 8:57 am Monday, July 8, 2013

MINNEAPOLIS — Maya Moore scored 14 of her 23 points in the third quarter and the Minnesota Lynx earned their 10th straight victory over Phoenix, beating the Mercury 91-59 on Sunday night.

Monica Wright added 17 and Lindsay Whalen chipped in 14 for the Lynx, who earned their third victory over the Mercury this season in a winning streak that dates to 2011.

Minnesota’s defense set the tone in the first half, holding the league’s No. 1 offense to 29 points on 32.5 percent shooting while also forcing nine Mercury turnovers.

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WNBA leading scorer Diana Taurasi, who entered the contest averaging 23 points per game, was held to a season-low 4 points on 2-for-6 shooting for the Mercury. She averaged 24.5 points per game in this season’s first two meetings against the Lynx.

DeWanna Bonner, the Mercury’s second-leading scorer, had seven points on 3-for-13 shooting. She was 0 for 13 in her previous matchup against Minnesota.

The victory came at a price, as the Lynx (8-3) lost Seimone Augustus to a left ankle injury in the second quarter. She left with 7:01 to play in the period and did not return.

Phoenix (8-5) had its season-best five-game winning streak snapped and missed a chance to take over the top spot in the Western Conference from the Lynx. Minnesota has held at least a share of first place in the conference for nearly two years — since defeating the Mercury on July 20, 2011.

Candice Dupree led Phoenix with 12 points, while rookie Brittney Griner had eight points and a career-high 11 rebounds

Phoenix grabbed eight offensive rebounds in the first half, but couldn’t take advantage, converting just 1 of 9 second-chance opportunities.

Moore then caught fire, scoring eight points during a 14-6 Minnesota run to start the second half. The Lynx led by at least 14 points the rest of the way.

It was a night to forget for the Mercury, who committed a season-high 21 turnovers — the most by a Minnesota opponent this season. Phoenix shot just 36 percent overall, and connected on just 3 of 14 3-point attempts.

The 59 points scored were a season low for the Mercury, and a low for any Lynx opponent this season.

Janel McCarville also finished in double figures with 11 points for Minnesota, which extended its franchise-record home winning streak to 14 games dating to last season.