Maya Moore was not going to let tonight's game against Seattle slip through her fingers like it did the other night in New York. Moore stepped up in MVP fashion and led her team to a win over Seattle 73-67.
In front of a home crowd on fan appreciation night, Minnesota almost gave the game away in the fourth quarter as they let an 18 point-lead dwindle down to just leading by one. This sort of play is concerning going into playoffs, but when you have the WNBA All- Star MVP on your team, you can sometimes get away with it.
Tonight's game plan for Minnesota was all about execution. Coming off a disappointing loss to New York left a lot of unanswered questions as to what direction this team is heading in. Maya Moore executed when needed and dominated the leaderboard with 20 points, 7 rebounds and 5 assists for the night.
Maya Moore looked sick to her stomach as she talked about her team's last performed in a pre-game interview. Through her very short answers, and almost awkward silences, her message was this: "It was a very uncharacteristic like ending, Coach drew up plays, and we came up with empty possessions, you can't let a team score that many points on you late in the game."
Moore went on to say, you can feel the end drawing near, and you don't want your season to end, we must be locked in, focused, and execute the game plan.
Minnesota did just that and controlled the first half leading 37-31. Cruz and Moore worked in tandem to connect with Fowles down low and put together seamless combinations. Moore is so dangerous offensively; she is always one step ahead of the play with her quick decision-making.
Cruz, filling some big shoes with Whalen being injured, was 5-5 for a dozen points and played a significant role in getting Lynx's offense rolling. Seattle could not keep up with the fast pace transitions and got caught on their heels watching.
When the trio of Moore, Cruz and Fowles are in sync, good things are going to happen for Minnesota.
Moore graciously acknowledges how much her teammates contribute to her success. The franchise player said, "a team is what wins championships, appreciates every single person for what they do on and off the court."
It's easy to see from all her accolades on the court that Moore drives this team, but when you get to see her humble attitude off the court, that is what sets her apart.
In the second half, Minnesota continued to rule over Seattle, so Coach Reeve made a bold move and cleared the bench. With the starting five taking a breather, Lynx's execution began to plummet, and it became a one-point game 66-65, Minnesota.
Coach Reeves on putting the reserves in said, "It was a problem. It was one of those things where it was about as good of a time as any to try and give players rest being up 18. Unfortunately that group couldn't sustain a lead or keep it at arm's length. They (Storm) got it close enough and had to call the starters back in and they didn't have any flow about them. It was really hard from there.
"That is the challenge; stop or don't stop. Like I said this was a game that we wanted to try if we built a lead to give players rest."
Minnesota (22-11), has a concerning way of taking care of the game, but they seemed to find a way to get it done defeating Seattle 73-67.
Maya Moore will have the opportunity to see how far she can take her team, as they prepare for the first round of playoffs to be played in Minnesota. But if there's one thing about Moore, she's going to give them everything she has, because she cherishes her teammates.