MINNEAPOLIS — Not even a dunk by Brittney Griner would have been enough to slow down the Minnesota Lynx’s passing attack on Thursday night.
Maya Moore scored 22 points and Seimone Augustus added 19 to lead the Lynx to an easy 99-79 win over the Phoenix Mercury.
“This is another one that I’m really going to enjoy watching back on video,” Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve said. “We’re just embracing that notion of when you play hard, good things happen to you. We were hard to play against tonight.”
Lindsay Whalen had 10 assists for the Lynx (2-0), who finished with 30 on 36 field goals, and Amber Harris added a career high 18 points off the bench.
The highlight of the night came when a no-look pass from Moore led to an alley-oop lay-in by Harris.
“It was a really sweet play,” Moore said. “It’s so fun to play like that. It builds everybody up.”
Diana Taurasi scored 21 points for the Mercury (0-3) and Griner added 16.
The 6-foot-8 Griner attempted to dunk on a fast break late in the third quarter, but the ball clanked off the back of the rim.
The Mercury locker room remained closed and coach Corey Gaines had yet to speak to the media 45 minutes after the game ended.
Led by Moore’s 19 points, the Lynx used crisp passes to dash around Phoenix and shoot 65 percent to build a 60-33 halftime lead.
The first half looked more like a passing clinic instead of an actual game, and it carried through to the second half.
“Thirty assists, that’s just a really fun way to play,” Whalen said. “It’s just great when we share the ball like we did.”
The 30 assists tied a team high set in 2007. Minnesota only turned the ball over six times, which also tied a team-record low set in 2007.
Harris, a 6-foot-5 forward in her second year out of Xavier, was assigned to Griner most of the night and held her own, even blocking two of the rookie star’s shots.
“I just got in and just played hard,” Harris said. “It feels good to finally get out and contribute and help my teammates out. I feel like I need to get better and better each game.”
After drafting Griner, Phoenix had high expectations heading into this season. But the Mercury have been outscored by a combined 55 points in losing their first three games.
Their last two losses have come on the road against Seattle and Minnesota, which won WNBA titles in 2010 and 2011, respectively.
Phoenix’s next game is Saturday at defending champion Indiana.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.