BRADENTON, Fla. — In a battle of the No. 4 and No. 5 teams in the standings, the Minnesota Lynx eked out an 86-83 victory over the Chicago Sky on Wednesday, Sept. 2.
Courtney Vandersloot missed a last second 3-pointer to tie the game after Odyssey Sims went one of two from the free throw line.
Up 85-83, Minnesota had a chance to go up by two possessions with 17 seconds remaining when Kahleah Copper earned a charge on Napheesa Collier. On the other end, Vandersloot drove to the basket but was stripped.
Damiris Dantas — who has been starting for the injured Sylvia Fowles — had a fantastic night, scoring a career-high 28 points on 10 of 13 shooting for Minnesota (12-5)
Vandersloot, the Eastern Conference Player of the Month for August, had 13 points and 12 rebounds, but also eight turnovers. Cheyenne Parker also had a monster double-double for Chicago (11-7), scoring 20 points and grabbing 15 rebounds.
Minnesota scored the first eight points of the game and, while the Lynx would hold only a 28-24 advantage at the end of the period, they would hold the lead for the next three-and-a-half quarters.
In the second quarter, Minnesota extended their lead to double digits and stayed up by that margin for the rest of the period, heading into halftime up 50-40.
The Lynx started off the third quarter on fire, scoring on the first five possessions of the second half to go up 62-44. It appeared Minnesota was on pace to turn the game into a blowout. But just as quickly as the Lynx got hot, they cooled down.
Minnesota had one basket in the next five-and-a-half minutes, as Chicago -- behind nine points from Vandersloot -- cut the Lynx advantage to two points. A couple of baskets at the end of the quarter re-extended the Minnesota lead to eight points heading into the final frame.
The Sky kept fighting back, and Allie Quigley's triple with 5:48 to go gave Chicago its first lead of the game. The Lynx quickly countered on the other end, as a Dantas 3-pointer swung the score back in their direction.
Quigley, who finished with 23 points, became Chicago's all-time leading scorer with a mid-range jumper early in the third quarter.