In a game that was close to the bitter end, the Minnesota Lynx held off the Seattle Storm for a 58-55 victory on Sunday and swept the best-of-three Western Conference semifinals.
Seimone Augustus hit a 15-foot jumper with 21.1 seconds left which saved the game for the Lynx. Maya Moore scored 22 points and Rebekkah Brunson had 15 points and 13 rebounds for Minnesota.
The Lynx won the WNBA title in 2011 but lost to Indiana in last year’s finals.
Tina Thompson made a driving layup to put the Storm up 55-54 with 1:20 remaining, and that was their first lead since late in the second quarter.
Thompson had 13 points and nine rebounds in the final game of her 17-year career. She announced before the season that she would retire at the end of this year. The 38-year-old forward is the WNBA’s career scoring leader and won four league titles with Houston.
But Augustus was no slouch either; she had 10 points— responded with her jumper from the right side. Brunson hit two free throws with 11.6 seconds left for the final margin.
Noelle Quinn missed a driving layup in the final seconds for Seattle; they rebounded the miss but couldn’t get manage to get another shot in.
Moore scored seven in the third quarter to help the Lynx to a 42-39 lead. Wright scored six for the Storm.
Moore scored 12 as the teams were tied at 28 at halftime. The Storm outscored Minnesota 12-8 in the second quarter as the Lynx made only 4 of 15 shots from the field.
The Lynx will open the Western Conference finals this week against the winner of the Los Angeles-Phoenix series, which will be decided on Monday.