Minneapolis, MN (SportsNetwork.com) - With Maya Moore pouring in a career-best 48 points, the Minnesota Lynx outlasted the Atlanta Dream in a 112-108 double- overtime thriller at the Target Center.
Moore knocked down a torrid 7-of-9 shots from 3-point range and added 10 rebounds in the second-highest single-game scoring performance in WNBA history. And the Lynx needed every one of those points to put away a gritty Dream squad playing its first game without head coach Michael Cooper and run their win streak to five straight.
Cooper announced Monday he was taking a leave from the Dream to undergo treatment for early stage tongue cancer, with assistant Karleen Thompson directing the team for Tuesday's matchup.
Under Thompson, Atlanta roared back from a 14-point deficit with six minutes left in the fourth quarter to force overtime on Tiffany Hayes' layup with 1:15 to go.
Moore had 40 points in regulation, and the Lynx held a seemingly comfortable 85-71 lead before the Dream came storming back. Sancho Lyttle racked up 10 points to lead a 16-2 Atlanta run that Hayes capped by hitting 1-of-2 free throws to forge an 87-87 tie with 1:48 left.
A Janel McCarville layup was answered by Hayes' basket on the ensuing possession, and the Dream had a chance to win it when Erika de Souza stole the ball from Moore in the final seconds.
Shoni Schimmel missed a short runner, however, and de Souza's putback attempt was rejected by Moore.
Atlanta then opened the first OT with back-to-back threes from Hayes and Angel McCoughtry, but Minnesota responded with a 9-1 spurt to take a 98-96 edge with a minute remaining. De Souza scored off a Schimmel feed on the other end, however, but McCoughtry missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer to send the game into another overtime knotted at 98-98.
The Lynx then took over down the stretch of the second OT, with consecutive buckets by Lindsay Whalen and Tan White giving Minnesota a 111-106 advantage with 38.4 seconds to play.
Whalen contributed 26 points on 10-of-17 shooting to the victory, with Rebekkah Brunson finishing with 17 points and 12 rebounds for the Lynx.
Lyttle compiled 26 points and 12 boards in a losing cause, while Hayes had 22 points and McCoughtry 21 for Atlanta.