ST. PAUL, Minn. — Maya Moore scored 26 points and the defending WNBA champion Minnesota Lynx beat the Phoenix Mercury 96-86 on Friday night to take a 2-0 lead in the semifinal series.

Lindsay Whalen scored 12 of her 16 points in the fourth quarter for Minnesota, playing at the Xcel Energy Center — home of the NHL’s Minnesota Wild — for the second straight game because of a scheduling conflict at the Target Center in Minneapolis.

Rebekkah Brunson added 13 points and 11 rebounds, and Sylvia Fowles had 14 points and nine rebounds for the top-seeded Lynx. Earlier Friday, Fowles was honored as the league’s defensive player of the year and Cheryl Reeve as the coach of the year.

Diana Taurasi had 31 points for the eighth-seeded Mercury. Penny Taylor added 16.


LOS ANGELES — Candace Parker had 20 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists to help the Los Angeles rout Chicago for a 2-0 series lead.

League sixth woman of the year Jantel Lavender added 20 points, league MVP Nneka Ogwumike had 18, and Kristi Toliver 17 in the Sparks’ return to their home court at Staples Center. They won Game 1 by 20 points in Long Beach on Wednesday night.

Reserve Clarissa Dos Santos scored 15 points and Jamierra Faulkner added 14 for the Sky. Elena Delle Donne watched in street clothes again because of a right thumb injury. She shared the league scoring title with New York’s Tina Charles, averaging 21.5 points.