Maya Moore has not run out of history in her glorious 2014 season.
The fourth-year veteran scored a career-high 48 points, the second-highest single game total in WNBA history, to highlight a 112-108 double overtime victory for the Minnesota Lynx, who beat the Atlanta Dream Tuesday night at Target Center.
"The coaching staff drew up some sets that would put us in great positions to score. The post players did a good job of screening for me away from the ball," Moore said.
Moore was three points shy from the all-time single game record, but she did surpass the Lynx franchise record of 46, set by Katie Smith in 2001. Reaching the 30-point mark for the 10th time this season, Moore tied Diana Taurasi's league record, originally set in 2008.
"It's really amazing when you have a team's full attention," said Minnesota head coach Cheryl Reeve. "She had to make perimeter shots because they weren't going to let her on the inside."
While Moore's perimeter shooting this season has lacked the sharpness of last year, she found a stroke against the Dream (15-7), hitting 7 of 9 attempts from three-point range. She floored through the first three periods, amassing 38 points. Her touches dropped from the fourth quarter onward, but her persistence remained, resulting in a pair of clutch baskets in the second overtime, including one off a screen of Angel McCoughtry.
Getting to double overtime was nothing short of a whirl. Minnesota (18-6) used a 20-5 run late to take an 85-71 lead midway through the fourth quarter in what appeared to be the finishing blow. Instead, Atlanta surged back, ending the period with an 18-4 run. The Dream had a chance to close out in regulation after triple-teaming Moore led to a steal by Erika de Souza, but Shoni Schimmel and de Souza both missed transition baskets as time expired.
"We had some really bad turnovers, hard shots, and they started making everything, scoring on every possession," Reeve said.
Atlanta hit two treys to start the first overtime before Minnesota answered back. Surviving another last-second shot at the end of the first overtime, the Lynx took the lead for good in the second extra time period, earning a victory in their highest-scoring game of the season.
The Dream were proficient in their up-tempo style, out-scoring the Lynx 21-9 in fast break points while accumulating 21 points off 23 Lynx turnovers. However, the return of Rebekkah Brunson helped Minnesota take a 44-35 advantage in rebounds, a figure that heavily skewed in Atlanta's direction in the first meeting between the two teams this season.
"To go into double overtime with one of the best teams in the west, it shows how much we're getting ready," Schimmel said.
Lindsay Whalen added 26 points and 9 assists for Minnesota, making 10 of 17 shots. Rebekkah Brunson registered 17 points and 12 rebounds. Brunson, who missed the first 23 games due to knee surgery, completed a crucial three-point play to start the second overtime.
"I was going to give it all I had. If I use it up, then I use it up. My body felt great," Brunson said.
Sancho Lyttle led Atlanta with 26 points and 12 rebounds. Tiffany Hayes posted 22 points, McCoughtry added 21 points, and Schimmel put in 17 points and 8 assists.
Minnesota completes their four-game home-stand on Friday, when they host San Antonio.