Augustus rallies Lynx past Dream in Game 2
Minneapolis, MN (Sports Network) - Seimone Augustus answered Angel McCoughtry's milestone night with a big fourth quarter to move the Lynx one victory away from their first WNBA championship.
Augustus scored 15 of her franchise-playoff record 36 points in the last quarter and totaled eight rebounds, as Minnesota rallied to beat Atlanta, 101-95, in Game 2 of the title series.
"I've seen a lot of playoff games. I've not seen the type of performance that Seimone Augustus gave us tonight," Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve said. "Some of the best individual performances that I've seen in the playoffs. Just a warrior, she's hurt. She was tough. It was fun to watch."
McCoughtry had a WNBA Finals-record 38 points, but was limited to only five on 1-of-7 shooting in the last quarter. Lindsey Harding added 16 points, Iziane Castro Marques 14 and Sancho Lyttle 13 in defeat.
Dream coach Marynell Meadors was visibly upset at the free throw disparity, particularly in the fourth quarter. The Lynx went 38-of-46 at the line, while the Dream ended 21-of-32. In the last period, Minnesota went 19-of-24 at the charity stripe compared to 4-of-7 for the visitors.
"I just really don't understand some of the things that were being called," Meadors said. "Not to say they were wrong, but there were a lot of things I disagreed with. But that's part of the game."
The Lynx, who withstood a 33-point barrage from McCoughtry to notch an 88-74 victory in Sunday night's series-opener, can complete the sweep Friday night when the series shifts to Atlanta for Game 3.
Minnesota won despite another awful game from Maya Moore, who had just eight points, as she was saddled with foul trouble.
Meanwhile, the Dream are a Friday night loss away from being swept in the title round for a second straight year. In 2010, Seattle downed Atlanta.
Lyttle's three-point play boosted the Dream to an 85-81 lead with 4:53 left, but Minnesota scored the ensuing 10 points. A left baseline jumper from Augustus gave the Lynx an 87-85 edge and Lindsay Whalen's three-point play capped the burst with 2:25 left.
Minnesota, which also received 13 points apiece from Whalen and Jessica Adair, led by at least four the remainder of the way.
Moore picked up her third foul with 53.3 seconds left in opening quarter, which finished with Atlanta holding a 28-22 lead. The Dream set a WNBA Finals record for points in a half, gaining a 58-50 advantage at the break.
McCoughtry had 24 at the break and that included a buzzer-beating three-ball from the top of the arc to conclude the first half.
But the Lynx didn't disappoint the crowd of 15,124 the third-largest attendance in WNBA Finals history. They trailed throughout the third quarter, but stayed close, and a jumper by Amber Harris had the margin at 74-69 going to the fourth. Moore had five fouls going into the fourth.
Wednesday's game saw the return of Dream center Erika de Souza, who had eight points and 10 rebounds. She missed the last three playoff games while helping Brazil qualify for the 2012 Olympics by winning the FIBA Americas qualifying tournament.
Lynx center Taj McWilliams-Franklin had 10 points, but sat out the fourth with a sprained right knee.
10/06 00:49:37 ET