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MINNESOTA SPORTS ROUND-UP: Lynx even playoff series with Mercury

MINNEAPOLIS ( - Maya Moore scored 32 points to lead the way, but Seimone Augustus hit the shot that kept the Minnesota Lynx alive in the WNBA playoffs.

Augustus knocked down a go-ahead jumper with 23.3 seconds left despite being fouled, and the Lynx recovered from a slow start to beat the Phoenix Mercury, 82-77, in Game 2 of the Western Conference finals. The series is tied at one game apiece heading into a deciding Game 3 Tuesday night in Phoenix.

The Lynx trailed by 13 points after making just two of their 14 shots in the first quarter and were down 65-56 after Erin Phillips opened the fourth with a 3-pointer for the Mercury. But Minnesota moved ahead with a 10-0 run sparked by consecutive threes from Moore, and the score remained tight through the end of the game until Augustus gave the Lynx a 78-75 lead with her 3-point play. Candice Dupree missed a jumper and Diana Taurasi was off on a 3-point attempt in the Mercury's next two trips down the court, allowing the Lynx to hold on. Taurasi led Phoenix with 23 points and Dupree had 18. The Mercury were trying to lock up their fourth trip to the WNBA Finals after winning Game 1 on Friday. Brittney Griner led the way with 23 points and 11 rebounds in that one and had 14 points but just three boards on Sunday. Augustus finished with 23 points on Sunday and Lindsay Whalen added 17 for the Lynx, who are chasing their fourth straight trip to the WNBA Finals. They won their second title in three seasons last year.


J.J. Hardy's grand slam highlighted a seven-run sixth inning that helped the Baltimore Orioles roll to a 12-8 win over the Minnesota Twins on Sunday.

Ryan Flaherty and Nelson Cruz also homered in the rout, with Cruz belting his MLB-leading 35th of the season. Caleb Joseph went 4-for-5 and Nick Markakis and David Lough had three hits apiece. Wei-Yin Chen (14-4) was the benefactor of the power surge, earning the win despite allowing four runs on eight hits in 6 2/3 innings. Trevor Plouffe and Danny Santana each hit two-run homers for the slumping Twins, who have dropped seven of their last eight games, including all three so far in this four-game series. Brian Dozier and Chris Parmelee each had three hits in the setback. Twins starter Ricky Nolasco (5-10) was lit up for eight runs on 12 hits over five-plus innings.


The Minnesota Vikings claimed former University of Minnesota quarterback MarQueis Gray off waivers yesterday. Gray, who threw for over 2,000 yards and rushed for over 1,700 yards in his U career and was also a wide receiver as well, was cut by the Cleveland Brown on Saturday. Gray played 12 games for the Browns last season, playing tight end and fullback. He had two catches for eight yards and six carries for 43 yards and started twice.