Sun-Lynx Preview


After leading Minnesota to a win in its season opener, WNBA Finals MVP Maya Moore hopes to build on her strong performance as the Lynx celebrate their 2013 title at Target Center.

Following a ring presentation and the raising of the championship banner, Moore will try to help Minnesota capture its 10th straight win - including last year's playoff run - Sunday against the Connecticut Sun.

Moore, who averaged 18.5 points and 6.2 rebounds last season and finished second in the regular-season MVP voting, scored 20.0 per game in the WNBA Finals to carry the Lynx to their second crown in three years.

Minnesota went undefeated in the playoffs after winning eight of its last nine regular-season contests.

The two-time All-Star picked up where she left off in Friday's opener, finishing one point shy of a career high with 34 in an 89-77 victory at Washington. She also pulled down nine rebounds and hit three 3-pointers.

''She's an unbelievable player,'' said Mystics rookie Stefanie Dolson, who played with Moore at the University of Connecticut in 2010-11. "She's fun to watch, but not fun to play against.''

Moore has certainly played well at home against the Sun, averaging 23.7 points in three career meetings. She's looking to guide the Lynx to their fourth consecutive victory in a home opener.

In the most recent matchup at Target Center, Moore finished with 26 points, seven rebounds and five assists in a 90-74 victory in the 2013 opener. Seimone Augustus, who added 20 points on 9-of-13 shooting in that contest, chipped in with 24 Friday.

Minnesota, which is without Rebekkah Brunson, Monica Wright and Devereaux Peters due to injury, has won three straight overall in this series and four of the last five home meetings.

''Championship is a long way off, but we want to play like every game is a championship so that if we get that opportunity we'll be ready and we know again what if feels like (to win) this season,'' Moore said.

After finishing with the league's worst record last season, the Sun are trying to incorporate seven new players onto their roster in 2014. They still seemed to be getting to know one another in Friday's opener, turning it over 20 times in a 75-54 home loss to former Connecticut star Tina Charles and New York.

The Sun shot just 30 percent from the field while missing 13 of 15 from 3-point range.

''We came out and laid an egg,'' coach Anne Donovan said. ''No doubt about it. We didn't have a good showing tonight, and I know they're disappointed about it.''

Chiney Ogwumike - the top overall pick in this year's draft - led the Sun with 13 points and five rebounds in her debut, while Alex Bentley was the only other player to reach double figures with 10.

Connecticut has dropped eight in a row on the road and 13 of 14.