MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Maya Moore scored 14 of her 23 points in the third quarter and the Minnesota Lynx earned their 10th straight victory over Phoenix, beating the Mercury 91-59 on Sunday night.
Monica Wright added 17 and Lindsay Whalen chipped in 14 for the Lynx, who earned their third victory over the Mercury this season in a winning streak that dates to 2011.
Minnesota’s defense set the tone in the first half, holding the league’s No. 1 offense to 29 points on 32.5 percent shooting while also forcing nine Mercury turnovers.
WNBA leading scorer Diana Taurasi, who entered the contest averaging 23 points per game, was held to a season-low 4 points on 2-for-6 shooting for the Mercury. She averaged 24.5 points per game in this season’s first two meetings against the Lynx.
DeWanna Bonner, the Mercury’s second-leading scorer, had seven points on 3-for-13 shooting. She was 0 for 13 in her previous matchup against Minnesota.
The victory came at a price, as the Lynx (8-3) lost Seimone Augustus to a left ankle injury in the second quarter. She left with 7:01 to play in the period and did not return.
Phoenix (8-5) had its season-best five-game winning streak snapped and missed a chance to take over the top spot in the Western Conference from the Lynx. Minnesota has held at least a share of first place in the conference for nearly two years — since defeating the Mercury on July 20, 2011.
Candice Dupree led Phoenix with 12 points, while rookie Brittney Griner had eight points and a career-high 11 rebounds
Phoenix grabbed eight offensive rebounds in the first half, but couldn’t take advantage, converting just 1 of 9 second-chance opportunities.
Moore then caught fire, scoring eight points during a 14-6 Minnesota run to start the second half. The Lynx led by at least 14 points the rest of the way.
It was a night to forget for the Mercury, who committed a season-high 21 turnovers — the most by a Minnesota opponent this season. Phoenix shot just 36 percent overall, and connected on just 3 of 14 3-point attempts.
The 59 points scored were a season low for the Mercury, and a low for any Lynx opponent this season.
Janel McCarville also finished in double figures with 11 points for Minnesota, which extended its franchise-record home winning streak to 14 games dating to last season.