Decade of Basketball: 2015 WNBA Finals Game 3
Welcome to our Decade of Basketball series, reminiscing about the greatest moments in the sport in the 2010s. Through video, we will relive the times from the last 10 years that bring goosebumps to the arms of those who witnessed them. Let’s celebrate the last decade of basketball and look forward to the next one we’re about to experience.
2015 WNBA Finals Game 3
The Minnesota Lynx were seeking their third title in five years, and the Indiana Fever were pursuing their second title in four years. The stage was set for a heavyweight fight in the 2015 WNBA Finals.
The Fever took Game 1 on the road for the early series lead, 75-69, behind 19 points and 6 assists from Briann January. But the Lynx responded in Game 2, knotting the series at 1-1 with a 77-71 victory with 21 points via Sylvia Fowles and 19 more from Maya Moore.
The series moved to Indiana for Game 3, and so too did the drama.
A tight game throughout, the Fever held a three-point lead in the second-to-last minute of the fourth quarter, 77-74. But a Renee Montgomery triple evened the game at 77 with 1:11 to play. It would take another 1:11 for either team to score, but one of them did.
Minnesota had the ball with 1.7 seconds left in regulation. Lindsay Whalen worked to get the ball in bounds, finally finding Moore near the top of the key after seconds of tough defense. Moore caught it, pump faked, put the ball on the floor with her right hand for one dribble, then pulled up right at the top of the key as time wound down. The backboard lit up milliseconds after the rock removed from her palms, and when it found the bottom of the net, the Fever couldn’t rebuttal.
Moore’s last-second heroics lifted Minnesota over Indiana, 80-77, to give the Lynx a 2-1 advantage in the series. They were three of her game-high 24 points, each of which were crucial to her team’s success.
The Fever would bounce back in Game 4, winning another competitive one, 75-69, to force a Game 5. Minnesota would finish the job in the final game of the 2015 season, though, 69-52, in front of its home fans.
Minnesota’s second championship in three years, and what ended up being one of its four from the 2010s, wouldn’t have been possible without the buzzer beater from Moore in Game 3. That shot lives on as one of the great moments in the past decade of basketball and one of the most significant plays in WNBA history.