ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Lynx continue recent surge with 81-78 win over Chicago Sky

Minnesota has won five of seven and, in addition to beating the Sky, the Lynx crushed Las Vegas 102-71 on Sunday. Each foe had the WNBA’s best record entering the game.

Minnesota-Lynx.gif
We are part of The Trust Project.

MINNEAPOLIS — On Wednesday afternoon the Minnesota Lynx battled through adversity that may have sunk the team just a few weeks ago.

Ultimately, Jessica Shepard made a 3-point play with a minute to play, Sylvia Fowles and Kayla McBride each added two late free throws, and Minnesota continued its successful surge by holding off Chicago 81-78 at Target Center.

Minnesota has won five of seven and, in addition to beating the Sky, the Lynx crushed Las Vegas 102-71 on Sunday. Each foe had the WNBA’s best record entering the game.

“We are where we always thought we would be as far as, like, the teams we can beat,” said Aerial Powers, who led Minnesota with 22 points and 11 rebounds. “These were top teams, and we always felt like we could (beat them); we just couldn’t get over the hump.”

MORE MINNESOTA LYNX COVERAGE:
Pro
Fowles finished with 10 points and 12 rebounds for her WNBA-best 193rd career double-double.
Pro
Seattle spoiled Sylvia Fowles' final regular-season home game
Pro
The WNBA’s all-time best center will be celebrated Friday after what may be her final game in Minnesota
Pro
Minnesota has won 20 of 23 regular-season games against Phoenix since August 2015, including 10 straight in Arizona.
Pro
The Lynx now sit in 11th place in the 12-team league, 1½ games behind Atlanta, New York and Phoenix who are tied for seventh. Minnesota has four games left, three against teams that would currently be in the playoffs.
Pro
The Lynx (11-19) are now 1 1/2 games behind the Dream but the Phoenix Mercury (12-16 entering Thursday) and New York Liberty (12-17) are also in contention.
Pro
Minnesota shot 42.9 percent from the floor and were 6 of 13 from behind the arc
Pro
Five players scored in double figures for Minnesota (10-18), led by Aerial Powers with 14 points.
Pro
For the game, the Lynx committed 16 turnovers and shot 33% from the field while tallying a season-low 57 points — led by 16 from Kayla McBride, who felt the Lynx got good shots that simply weren’t going down.
Pro
Playing their third game in four nights, the Lynx (10-16) moved within a game of Phoenix for the WNBA's final playoff spot with 10 games left.

The Lynx (8-15), who started the season 0-4 and were 1-6 and 3-13 at various points, now sit 2.5 games out of a playoff spot with 13 games remaining after Sunday’s WNBA All-Star Game.

ADVERTISEMENT

“We feel like we can compete with anybody,” McBride said. “We don’t think our record shows exactly who we are, and now it’s about proving that night in and night out, and I think that’s what we’ve been able to do.”

“Their record doesn’t dictate how good they are,” said Sky coach James Wade, a former Lynx assistant. “… They’re a team everybody is going to have to watch out for.”

But the Lynx didn’t make it easy on themselves Wednesday.

Leading by nine points early in the fourth quarter, Minnesota went 4:36 without scoring a point, allowing the Sky (15-6) to tie the score with four minutes to go.

Earlier this season, the Lynx most likely would have folded further, something the team had myriad conversations about.

“We know the games ebb and flow, it’s a game of runs. But how we come back together, that’s where all the talks come in, all the work and all those difficult conversations where we can kind of bring ourselves back together,” said McBride, who finished with 15 points.

“We want to have the confidence in each other so when they do make a 9-0 run, instead of it being 9-0, it’s 9-4, 9-5 and now we’re still playing with that 5-point lead, instead of before they were going on 11-0 runs, 14-0 runs.”

Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve said her team has developed a mindset and identity of if we don’t score, they don’t score. “That’s how we were able to come out of here with a W,” she said.

ADVERTISEMENT

Chicago entered averaging a league-best 40.8 points in the paint; it had 28 Wednesday. The Sky shot just 39.7 percent from the field, far from its league-best 47.8 percent entering the game.

“Keeping them out of the paint and keeping them not knowing where their next pass should be. I thought that was where we were really good today,” Reeve said.

With most of the Camp Day crowd of 11,103, including many shrieking youngsters, on their feet chanting “De-Fense,” Chicago had a pair of chances to tie in the final six seconds, but two 3-pointers by Allie Quigley did not fall.

Quigley has thrice won the league’s 3-point contest and will be competing again at the All-Star Game festivities on Saturday.

“They made one (3-point shot to win) at their place, missed one at our place,” Reeve said. “That’s the way it goes sometimes.”

Courtney Vandersloot hit a trey at the buzzer to beat the Lynx 88-85 on June 26.

Lynx forward Napheesa Collier made her first Target Center appearance this year and joined in the postgame on-court celebration. The team’s top scorer last season and 2019 WNBA Rookie of the Year, Collier gave birth to daughter Mila on May 25 and hopes to return before the season ends.

“Phee being around is a big pick-me-up for the team, regardless of what does or doesn’t happen on the court,” Reeve said.

ADVERTISEMENT

______________________________________________________

This story was written by one of our partner news agencies. Forum Communications Company uses content from agencies such as Reuters, Kaiser Health News, Tribune News Service and others to provide a wider range of news to our readers. Learn more about the news services FCC uses here.

Related Topics: MINNESOTA LYNXBASKETBALL
What to read next
Pro
Luis Arraez and Jose Miranda hit back-to-back home runs in the first inning off former Twin Martin Pérez.
Pro
Mahle is not particularly concerned that his shoulder will be a long-term issue.
Pro
Mundt injured his knee last October as a member of the Rams
Pro
Chicago now leads the season series against Milwaukee, 8-6