Seimone Augustus scored 19 points to lead a balanced Minnesota attack, and the Lynx pulled away in the second half for an 80-64 win over the Seattle Storm in Game 1 of their Western Conference semifinal series.
Rebekkah Brunson tallied 18 points and nine rebounds, and Maya Moore scored 17 to go with six assists for the Lynx, who are aiming for a third straight trip to the title series.
Temeka Johnson scored 14 points for the Storm, who faltered in the third quarter by shooting 35.3 percent. Tanisha Wright scored 13, Alysha Clark 12, Camille Little 11 and Tina Thompson ended with 10 points and eight rebounds.
The Storm will host Game 2 of the best-of-three set at the Tacoma Dome on Sunday.
The Lynx carried a 40-36 lead into halftime, but Moore scored nine during the pivotal third quarter when the Lynx held a 22-12 scoring advantage.
Augustus' layup widened the gap to 50-40 with 5:50 left in third. Minnesota netted the final eight points of the period, capped by Moore's 3-point shot in the closing seconds.
Minnesota was ahead by as many as 22 in the fourth.