MINNEAPOLIS – The Minnesota Lynx honored the retiring Tina Thompson of the Storm in a brief pregame ceremony, acknowledging her accomplishments via public address while a “Thank you Tina!” slide appeared on the Target Center video board.
The crowd of 9,123 was still giving the stoic Thompson a standing ovation when she returned to the Storm layup line Saturday.
Though Thompson capped off her spectacular August with 18 points, the hot-shooting Lynx overwhelmed the Storm again.
Minnesota forward Maya Moore poured in 30 points as Minnesota won 97-74, the Storm’s seventh consecutive loss at the Target Center since 2010 and second this month.
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But with San Antonio losing 80-67 to Los Angeles, the Storm clinched its 10th consecutive WNBA playoff berth.
That didn’t make Thompson feel better.
“I’ve never played any game of my career depending on what someone else is doing,” she said.
“I like to control my own destiny.”
Moore and the Lynx made that impossible.
Seven days after Moore scored a WNBA season-high 35 points here against Indiana, she started out as if determined to surpass that total.
She sank eight of her first nine shots, mainly on turnarounds and perimeter jump shots, with center Janel McCarville putting back her lone miss.
Moore had 15 points in the first quarter and 25 by halftime as the Lynx led 53-42.
“She’s so versatile,” Storm coach Brian Agler said of Moore. “She can catch and shoot, she’s posting up, one dribble and shoot. She’s feeling it right now, and really good players get to that. I’ve seen (Minnesota’s Seimone) Augustus get like that. Tina Thompson can get like that.
“The great ones have that knack. They can elevate their game, and she’s obviously in that groove right now.”
Moore finished 12 for 15 from the field and 4 of 5 on three-pointers in 28 minutes; she did not play in the fourth quarter.
Neither did Thompson, whom Agler pulled in the third quarter during a 17-2 Lynx run that put the game out of reach.
The Lynx shot 57.7 percent, in part by converting 14 Storm turnovers into 25 points.
“That has to stop,” said Seattle guard Temeka Johnson, who had 16 points. “We can’t give a team like that extra possessions at all.”
Tanisha Wright added 11 points and 10 assists for the Storm, which thanks to a quirk in the schedule also plays its next two games against the Lynx, at KeyArena on Sept. 7 and 10.
“They’re the best team in the league right now,” Agler said. “You have to find a way to stay and play with them. You’ve got to get to a point where you’re taking things away from them. Our defensive exhibition tonight wasn’t doing it.”