Lynx Beat Sky, Secure Home-Court Advantage In Playoffs
MINNEAPOLIS -- Maya Moore had 22 points and 11 rebounds and the Minnesota Lynx beat the Chicago Sky 79-66 Saturday night in their final regular-season game to secure home-court advantage throughout the WNBA playoffs.
Lindsay Whalen added 23 points and Seimone Augustus had 14 for the Lynx (26-8), who have won eight of nine. Minnesota finished the season 15-2 at home. Janel McCarville grabbed 10 rebounds.
Sylvia Fowles led Chicago with 17 points and 11 rebounds and Elena Delle Donne had 14 points. The Sky (24-10) lost for just the second time in 11 games and will be the top seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs.
Courtney Vandersloot scored six points during an 11-4 run in the third quarter that got the Sky within six points, but Augustus made a long jumper and Moore and Whalen hit 3-pointers to give Minnesota a 67-53 lead heading into the fourth quarter. Whalen's 3 was her first of the season.
Chicago got within 71-61 midway through the fourth, but Augustus scored four straight and Rachel Jarry hit a jumper to put the Lynx in front by 16.
Minnesota, which won the league crown in 2011 and lost to Indiana in the finals last year, will face Seattle -- a team it went 4-0 against this year -- in the first round of the playoffs beginning Friday.
Reaching the postseason for the first time in its eight-year history, Chicago will face either Indiana or Washington in the Eastern Conference semifinals. The Fever and Mystics have identical records and each plays their season finale Sunday.
Moore had 13 points, including three 3-pointers, as the Lynx took a 22-19 lead after one quarter.
Whalen scored nine straight points early in the second quarter, including a fast-break layup and a layup off an inbounds pass -- both on feeds from Moore -- to give the Lynx a 35-22 cushion. Her layup with 2:11 left in the first half gave the Lynx a 45-30 lead, but Chicago scored the final four points of the quarter to get within 11.
Back-to-back layups by Fowles got Chicago within 49-42 midway through the third quarter, but the Lynx countered with six straight points -- two on a Whalen fast-break layup from Moore -- to increase the lead to 13.
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