Web Editorial Associate
The Minnesota Lynx came out victorious in an epic back-and-forth battle against the Chicago Sky on Tuesday night, 87-82.
It was Maya Moore who walked away with her hands raised after going toe-to-toe with Elena Delle Donne in a battle of heavyweight shooters.
Chicago’s star guard/forward, and the reigning WNBA Most Valuable Player, scored 38 points on 11-for-15 shooting, grabbed 10 boards and blocked two shots while only sitting out for one minute in the game.
“They’re great players, Maya’s an MVP, Elena is an MVP, They’re Olympians,” Sky head coach Pokey Chatman said. “Their play is different but it’s still impactful. To know that the other team is scheming for you and you still have the ability to be relevant and also be damn good, it speaks volume for your play.”
The player who won the MVP award the year before Delle Donne had a pretty nice game herself. Moore tallied 33 points on 12-for-18 shooting (including a clutch 3-point bucket with 55.7 seconds left in the game, putting Minnesota up 85-80), six rebounds and three steals.
“I told our team at halftime in particular, it was a fun game to be a part of, I think both teams are playing really well,” Lynx head coach Cheryl Reeve said. “I just thought it was a great game. It was a great game for national TV – two marquee players on a big stage, Maya [Moore] and obviously Delle Donne getting 24 in the first half. I thought we did a great job adjusting, coming out in the second half making things much more difficult. When Maya had a chance to guard [Delle Donne], it really got Maya going. It got her kind of amped up for the challenge.”
39.1: Although Delle Donne had an outstanding game, Minnesota was able to hold the Sky to this percentage shooting on the night. The Lynx are 78-1 when their opponent shoots worse than 40 percent from the field.
18: When it comes to fast break points, Minnesota outscored Chicago by this many on Tuesday evening, thanks to nine steals and excellent transition play.
16: Despite Janel McCarville missing all three of her shots, the wily veteran put up this plus rating in her 19 minutes of action. Providing a huge spark off the bench with six assists, McCarville had the highest plus/minus rating in the game by five points.
“That was another difference-maker along with some shot-making and Seimone’s [Augustus] the whole game,” Lynx guard Lindsay Whalen said. “That was one of the difference-makers, Janel’s passing and her facilitating was really spot on. From the behind the back to Seimone all the way to the give-and-go with me, she was a huge difference-maker.”
Leader of the Pack: Maya Moore
In 34 minutes of play, the University of Connecticut alum put in 33 points, snatched six rebounds and came up with three huge steals.
“She’s amazing and at any point Maya can go off and be Maya,” Delle Donne said. “I feel like we did a good job containing mostly everyone else though and they’re such a good team that one of them is going to go off at some point and you need to contain everyone else.”
Highlight of the Night: Janel McCarville’s Fancy Dish
Nearing the end of the second quarter, McCarville had a sweet block on one end of the floor, grabbed the deflection, led the fast break and then made a beautiful no-look pass to Sylvia Fowles for the lay-in.
The Lynx will travel to Connecticut on Thursday to take on the Sun. Minnesota has yet to face Connecticut this season, so be sure to set your alarm for a 6:00 p.m. tip-off. The game will be available to watch on the WNBA League Pass, or as always, on 106.1 BOB FM radio.