The fourth-year veteran could easily be mistaken for a mutant after recording 38 points and 13 rebounds in a 94-93 win over the Tulsa Shock Friday night at BOK Center. Moore surpassed her previous career high of 35 points, set last season, and became the fourth player in the WNBA to score 30 or more points in three straight games, the others being Cynthia Cooper (1997), Epiphanny Prince (2012) and Angel McCoughtry (2013).
Minnesota (3-0) needed every last point from Moore after squandering a 16-point lead, flirting once more with the loss column. A blazing 35-point start in the first quarter helped the Lynx carry a 60-48 lead at halftime, with Moore racking up 27 points in that span. Withstanding a barrage of fouls in the third quarter with minimal damage, the Lynx seemed to have strong footing to comfortably wrap a road win, but the situation turned tense in the fourth.
Shots became almost impossible to convert, with Minnesota making just 3 of 11 attempts in the fourth period. Tulsa (0-2) pounced on the opportunity, attacking the paint with a couple of threes for good measure. With 2:06 left in regulation, the Shock mounted an 18-6 run to go up 91-88.
About a minute later, Janel McCarville drained an elbow jumper to bring the Lynx within one, 93-92. Moore rebounded a Riquna Williams miss, then drew a foul against Glory Johnson with 11.8 seconds remaining. Moore hit both free throws, and covered Skylar Diggins well in the final possession of the game. Diggins was forced to take a deep three as time expired, a shot that did not graze the rim.
Despite the anemic fourth quarter, Minnesota still edged Tulsa in all shooting categories, finishing with a 53 percent mark in field goal shooting.
A concentrated offense has given the Lynx a remedy for their short-handed symptoms, thanks to outstanding production from Moore and Seimone Augustus. Augustus chipped in 23 points Friday night, and holds a scoring average of 21.6 points per game through three games. Moore's mean? 35.0 points per game. She also has two double-doubles to her credit
Seven Shock players posted double-digits in points. Leading the group was Skylar Diggins, whose technique appears to be on the rise in her second season. Diggins had 21 points, although a 6-of-11 showing from the free throw line proved costly. Odyssey Sims had 13 points and 6 assists to help eradicate a woeful WNBA debut against San Antonio, and Courtney Paris notched her second career double-double in as many games with 10 points and 12 rebounds.
Minnesota returns home Saturday night to face New York.