MINNEAPOLIS -- Nobody can stop Maya Moore right now.
Even on nights when her shot isn't falling - she was 6-21 from the floor - Moore still finds a way to dominate the competition. She bullied her way to the line eight times and connected on every attempt, finishing with 21 points in 28 minutes to lead the Lynx over the Dream, 86-70.
She added 10 rebounds, five assists, and two steals.
The game was never really close. Minnesota attacked early and often in transition, and their new prized center, Fowles, was the anchor in the middle of a stifling defense. The Lynx held Atlanta to nine points in the first quarter. By the time halftime hit, they were in full control of the game, 47-29.
In the blowout victory, Moore extended her fanchise-record streak of consecutive games with 20 or more points to ten. The all-time WNBA record is held by Diana Taurasi, who did it thirteen times in 2006.
"I was not going to be the coach that prevented her from being able to continue the streak," coach Reeve jokingly remarked after the game. "I told her, 'give me one more point and I'm going to get you out of the game, I don't care how you do it, get it done' and then she scored shortly after that."
Moore entered tonight's contest averaging 25.8 points, on 47 percent shooting, 8.2 rebounds, and 4.2 assists over the last nine games.
"I feel like it's [scoring] part of the way I can help my team," Moore said. "I'm not super pleased with my efficiency tonight but I was still able to get a lot of great things done and I appreciate my coach wanting the best for me. It shows what kind of team and what kind of leadership we have."
Anna Cruz didn't suit up after missing practice yesterday. Cruz hurt her right ankle late in Wednesday's game against Los Angeles. Renee Montgomery started in her place next to Whalen in the backcourt. Montgomery scored six points, dished out nine assists, and drew a positive review from her coach afterwards.
"Her floor game was really good, those nine assists were helpful," Reeve said.
Damiris Dantas and Reshanda Gray made their first return to Target Center tonight after being sent to Atlanta in the three-team trade that brought Sylvia Fowles to Minnesota. Dantas started for the Dream, finishing with nine points and five rebounds. Gray scored seven points in 20 minutes off the bench to go with six rebounds, five fouls, four turnovers, and one technical foul.
Tricia Liston played a career-high 32 minutes off the bench, finishing with 10 points. "I'm just happy I've been doing cardio on my own," Liston joked after the game.
Five players finished in double-figures for the Lynx tonight and only Liston played over 30 minutes, which was something the coaching staff had discussed before the game, as they head to Tulsa to play tomorrow night. Whalen had 15 points, Fowles scored 12, and Ashjha Jones added 12 points off the bench, to go with Moore and Liston's performances.