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Lynx rout Mercury, 'under' hits in Game 1

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MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Lindsay Whalen and Maya Moore scored 20 points apiece and Seimone Augustus added 18 to lead the Minnesota Lynx to an 85-62 win in Game 1 of the Western Conference finals on Thursday night.

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Diana Taurasi scored 15 and Brittney Griner had 13 points and six rebounds for the Mercury, who now face a must-win situation in Game 2 in Phoenix on Sunday.

Both teams started out cold on, 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 Seattle in the conference semifinals. The changed Thursday when she hit her first five shots and finished the first half 7 for 10 for 14 points, one of three Lynx in double figures before halftime. She finished the game with six rebounds and five assists - team highs in both categories.

Minnesota has won all six meetings with the Mercury this season, but they hadn't played since July 24. The Mercury went 9-4 down the stretch after naming Russ Pennell their interim head coach.

The Mercury advanced to the conference finals by upsetting second-seeded Los Angeles, winning both road games in their best-of-three semifinal series. But they quickly discovered that the Lynx were going to be a tougher out.

Minnesota's 12-2 playoff record at Target Center is the best postseason home-court advantage in WNBA history, and the Lynx swept Phoenix in the conference finals en route to winning the 2011 league title.

AP NEWS
The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2014
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved

  
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