The Lynx may have beaten the Seattle Storm 80-64 but the Storm made sure that it wasn’t easy for the team. And the first quarter was proof—the Storm held the Lynx’s to a 16-15 lead.
Lindsay Whalen, Rebekkah Brunson and Seimone Augustus all had four points. Maya Moore struggled from the field, only shooting just 1-of-5.
While the first half of the game was a little unorganized, the second half was a bit of a roller coaster. The Lynx had a 16-4 run going into the second quarter, which gave them a 28-19 lead midway through the second. But that wouldn’t last as Seattle came back to bring the score within four points at halftime due largely to guards Tanisha Wright and Temeka Johnson, who combined for 19 points, five assists and shot 8-of-11 from the field going into the break.
Veteran Tina Thompson struggled, shooting just 2-of-7 from the field. She did have five rebounds at the break.
But the player of the half was Brunson, who led all players with 13 points and six rebounds, which included two offensive rebound put backs. Augustus added eight, while Whalen had seven at the break.
Moore had a tough early game– she shot just 1-of-9 at the break, but found other ways to contribute, scoring six points to go with three assists and two rebounds. Her time to heat up was coming.
The Lynx got off to a fast start in the third quarter as Moore and Augustus hit back-to-back fastbreak layups to give the Lynx a 44-36 lead.
Moore would keep up her intensity as would the Lynx. She shot 4-of-5 in the third quarter and finished with 15 overall points in the quarter, giving her the team lead with Brunson.
“In the first half she started off a little slow,” Augustus said of Moore. “We just told her to keep shooting. She’s a great player; she’s going to knock them down.”
The Lynx brought that force into the fourth quarter as well, and stretched the lead their lead to end the game.
Augustus finished with a game-high 19 points while shooting 9-of-15 from the field. Brunson finished with 18 points and nine rebounds. Despite her slow start, Moore finished with 17 points to go along with six assists, four rebounds and three steals.
Minnesota now travels to Seattle for Game 2.
“It’s only going to get more intense in Game 2,” Coach Cheryl Reeve said. “It’s an elimination game for them.”