MINNEAPOLIS — Lindsay Whalen and Maya Moore scored 20 points apiece and Seimone Augustus added 18 to lead the Minnesota Lynx to an 85-62 win over Phoenix in Game 1 of the Western Conference finals on Thursday night.
Diana Taurasi scored 15 and Brittney Griner had 13 points and six rebounds for the Mercury, which now faces a must-win situation in Game 2 in Phoenix on Sunday.
Both teams started out cold but Minnesota recovered quickly and turned the first half into a mismatch. After hitting just one of their first six field-goal attempts, the Lynx made 16 of their next 23 shots, while Phoenix was just 9 for 37 (24.3 percent) for the half.
Whalen, a first-team All-WNBA pick, scored just 13 points in Minnesota’s two-game sweep of the Storm in the conference semifinals. That changed when she hit her first five shots and finished the first half 7 for 10 for 14 points.
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At Dream 84, Fever 79
Tiffany Hayes scored 23 points, Angel McCoughtry had 18 and Atlanta beat Indiana for a 1-0 lead in the Eastern Conference finals. Armintie Herrington had 16 points, seven rebounds and five assists for the Dream.
Tamika Catchings led the Fever with 21 points. Erlana Larkins had 15 points and 12 rebounds. Game 2 is at Indiana on Sunday.