MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Minnesota Lynx had just one offensive rebound on, and it couldn’t have come at a better time.
Maya Moore scored 11 of her 25 points in the fourth quarter and had a huge put-back down the stretch to lead the Lynx to an 83-77 victory over the Indiana Fever on Sunday.
Midway through the fourth quarter the Lynx still didn’t have an offensive rebound, while the Fever had 11 — which helped them stay in the game despite shooting just 37 percent from the floor. Clinging to a one-point lead with 4 minutes to play, the Lynx finally got the bounce they needed.
Seimone Augustus misfired on a jump shot, but the rebound caromed straight off the back rim to Moore, who was crashing the lane. She tipped it in to put Minnesota ahead 71-68, and the Lynx held on to complete a second-half comeback.
“Those last 5 minutes we didn’t get frustrated, we didn’t cave, we stayed with it and that offensive rebound was waiting for me,” Moore said. “Sometimes it’s not going to be as pretty. We always believe that as long as we’re on the court there’s a chance so we just kept going.”
Augustus and Lindsay Whalen each scored 16 for the Lynx (11-4), who shot 57 percent from the floor but struggled with turnovers and perimeter defense in the first half.
Indiana scored 11 points off 13 Minnesota turnovers, and a flurry of 3-pointers gave the Fever a 41-35 lead at the break.
“We just did some things that just kind of shot ourselves in the foot and made the game harder to win than it should have been,” Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve said. “We had a heart-to-heart at halftime. We just told them . oh by the way, we’re shooting better than 60 percent, so if you would just handle it, we will get easy opportunities.”
Minnesota turned it over just six times in the second half and held the Fever to 3 for 13 from beyond the arc after halftime.
Karima Christmas scored 18 points to lead Indiana (6-6). Shavonte Zellous and Briann January added 16 points each.
“One thing we did was match their physicalness,” Fever coach Lin Dunn said. “I thought we battled against a really fine team. They have three Olympians. We don’t have any.”
Indiana star Tamika Catchings (back) has yet to play this season.
Zellous hit two 3s and Christmas added another during a 12-0 run just before halftime.
The Lynx regained the lead late in the third quarter on a turnaround jumper by Moore, and went ahead for good at 69-67 on a pair of free throws by Whalen.
“We let them kind of dictate a lot of things in the first half. We got kind of out of sorts a little,” Whalen said. “I had several turnovers and I just knew we had to come out in the third quarter and have a couple of good possessions. I knew once we got a couple good looks at it and kind of calmed down at halftime we’d be all right.”
Minnesota won its second straight and split a string of six games in 10 days.
“We don’t feel sorry for ourselves,” Reeve said of their tough recent schedule. “We just go, ‘Hey, it’s hard, but it’s hard for everybody at some point.’ But we wanted to have an exclamation point to the six games in 10 days.”
Minnesota used a 10-0 run to take a 29-18 lead midway through the second quarter. The Fever responded with a four-point play by January and a 3-pointer by Maggie Lucas to pull with four.