Lynx are off and running out West
Minneapolis - Maya Moore scored 20 points, Rebekkah Brunson had 14 points and 10 rebounds, and the Minnesota Lynx beat the Los Angeles Sparks 94-77 Thursday night in the opener of the Western Conference finals.
Seimone Augustus added 16 points for the defending champion Lynx.
Candace Parker scored 25 points and Alana Beard had 16 for Los Angeles. Kristi Toliver, who came in averaging 26 points in the playoffs, was held to 12.
Game 2 of the best-of-three series is Sunday in Los Angeles, where the Lynx are 4-21 all-time.
The high-scoring affair should not have been a surprise after Minnesota averaged a WNBA-best 86 points during the regular season - just two more than Los Angeles.
Minnesota outscored the Sparks 46-34 in the paint and held a 20-2 advantage in second-chance points to improve to 19-1 at home this season.
The Lynx took control in the second quarter, outscoring the Sparks 32-16 for a 48-31 halftime lead.
As part of a 14-2 run, the Lynx scored six points on the break and added another down low before a 3-pointer by Moore finished the surge. After DeLisha Milton-Jones missed a long jumper for the Sparks, Amber Harris scored her first postseason points with back-to-back layups for a 38-23 lead.
A 3-pointer by Candice Wiggins, steal and layup by Monica Wright, and a 3-pointer by Augustus put the Lynx up 46-26. After Parker scored five straight points for the Sparks, Lindsay Whalen scored on a putback at the buzzer.
Playing with a broken left ring finger and a bruised left wrist, Whalen - a U.S. Olympian and ex-Connecticut Sun star - finished with 12 points.
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