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Maya Moore’s big fourth quarter forces Game 3 in Western Conference finals

Maya Moore scored 13 of her 32 points in the fourth quarter and the Minnesota Lynx avoided elimination by beating the Phoenix Mercury 82-77 in Game 2 of the Western Conference finals on Aug. 31.

With the score knotted at 75 and 23.3 ticks remaining in regulation, Lynx guard Seimone Augustus. hit a 15-foot jumper and was fouled by DeWanna Bonner. Augustus converted the traditional three-point play. Following a Phoenix timeout, Candace Dupree had a chance to get the Mercury to within 1 point but her 8-foot jumper was off the mark and was grabbed by Rebekkah Brunson. Phoenix then fouled Moore, who calmly sank both free throws to secure the victory.

The Lynx went on a 13-0 run early in the fourth quarter to take their first lead since they scored the first point of the game. Augustus scored off a feed from Moore to put Minnesota on top 66-65 with 6:19 to play.

Moore played the entire 40 minutes was 10-of-21 from the field, including 5-of-9 from beyond the arc, and 7-of-7 from the charity stripe. She also grabbed nine caroms and came up with three steals.

Augustus finished with 23 points for the three-time defending Western Conference champions while Lindsay Whaled added 15 points and seven assists.

Diana Taurasi scored 23 and hauled six rebounds to go along with five helpers for the Mercury, who will host Game 3 on Sept.2. Dupree had 18 points and nine rebounds while Brittney Griner took just eight shots and finished with 14 points. Erin Philips produced 10 points off the bench for Phoenix, which won a record 29 regular season games.