Moore helps Lynx sweep Mystics, advance to WNBA Final
(TSX / STATS) -- Maya Moore scored 21 points as the Minnesota Lynx swept the Washington Mystics in their best-of-5 semifinal playoff series with an 81-70 win at Washington on Sunday.
Seimone Augustus had 18 points in Game 3 for the Lynx, who reached the WNBA Finals for the third year in a row and sixth time in seven years. Sylvia Fowles, who is the 2017 league Most Valuable Player, had 17 points and 14 rebounds.
Minnesota, which won the league title in 2011, 2013 and 2015, lost in the 2016 Finals to Los Angeles. A rematch with the Sparks will occur after Los Angeles wrapped up its series with Phoenix on Sunday. The series begins Sept. 24 in Minneapolis.
Elena Delle Donne scored 15 points for Washington.
While the Lynx core is playoff-tested and then some, the Mystics made their first semifinal appearance since 2002.
Washington closed the second quarter with a 15-8 run for a 39-38 halftime lead despite 13 points from Moore. Minnesota restored order with a 21-14 advantage in the third quarter and then outscored Washington 22-17 in the final period.
After the Mystics pulled within four points, the Lynx scored six points in a row. Augustus sank a jumper for a 69-59 lead with 5:58 remaining.
The Lynx won the first two games of the series, both in Minnesota, by an average of 15 points.
The Lynx shot 50 percent from the field, hit 7 of 14 3-point attempts and outrebounded the Mystics 36-31.
Washington made 14 of 15 free throw attempts, but only shot 38.8 percent from the field. Emma Meesseman finished 2 of 14 for eight points. Tierra Ruffin-Pratt scored 14 points and Kristi Toliver had 13 after scoring 25 in Game 2.
Delle Donne, part of a blockbuster trade during the offseason that turned Washington into a title threat, led the WNBA in free-throw shooting during the regular season with a 95.3 percent clip. She made her only two attempts in Game 3 while shooting 6 of 13 from the field.
Minnesota lost the season series to Los Angeles 2-1, but won all three meetings against Phoenix.
Updated September 17, 2017