PHOENIX — Maya Moore hit a 3-pointer, stole an inbounds pass and made a layup in the final minute to lift the Minnesota Lynx to their sixth straight victory, an 82-77 win over the Phoenix Mercury.
Rebecca Brunson had 18 points and 13 rebounds and Seimone Augustus 15 points for the Lynx, who have won eight of their last nine. Minnesota hit four of six free throws in the final 19 seconds to secure the victory.
Diana Taurasi had 26 points, six rebounds and six assists for the Mercury, who led much of the game, and had a 64-59 advantage going into the final period and a 74-73 lead with 1:35 left.
DeWanna Bonner added 23 points and 10 rebounds for Phoenix. Moore had 14 points on 5-for-14 shooting. The Mercury played their fourth straight game without No. 1 draft pick Brittney Griner, who injured her left knee June 6 against Minnesota.
After Bonner hit a 3-pointer at the top of the key with 2:03 left, Moore missed on a drive to the baseline. Taurasi then finished a fast break with a layup at the 1:35 mark to put the Mercury up 74-73.
Taurasi missed a 3-pointer with 1:07 left and Moore made her second 3-pointer of the game from the right corner to put Minnesota up for good.
The teams traded turnovers and Taurasi was inbounding the ball with 37.9 seconds left when Moore stepped in front and went for an easy basket.
Minnesota’s only two losses since June 8 have been to Los Angeles.
After trailing by eight at the break, Minnesota got within 58-57 on Augustus’ 3-pointer with 3:14 left in the third quarter, but Bonner scored the Mercury’s final six points to give Phoenix a 64-59 advantage going into the fourth.
Phoenix took advantage of poor Minnesota shooting in the first half to lead 44-36 at the break. The Lynx made just 40 percent from the field, including 2 of 10 from beyond the arc after making their first three shots of the half.
Seemingly sparked by a technical foul on Taurasi early in the second quarter, the Mercury opened up a 29-21 lead with 5:50 left in the half. Taurasi scored seven of her 13 first-half points during a 100-second stretch after getting the technical, her seventh of the season.
Phoenix led 18-17 after the first quarter, and held Moore, the league’s seventh-leading scorer, to three points on 1-for-6 shooting in the first half.
Augustus had six points by halftime in her second game back after spraining her left ankle July 7 against Phoenix.