Retrospective: 2011 WNBA Finals Lynx vs. Dream
Lynx vs. Dream, The WNBA Finals PrequelEverybody loves a prequel, right? The pre-LOTR "Hobbit" film did great at the box office, as did the Spock-Kirk origin story in the rebooted Star Trek of 2009. Back in 2011, Antonio Banderas' stellar vocal stylings in the pre-Shrek "Puss in Boots" animated classic were all the rage.
The year 2011 was also, in retrospect, the first time the Minnesota Lynx took on the Atlanta Dream in the WNBA Finals. Some things have changed with both squads -- Lynx veteran Taj McWilliams-Franklin has hung up her playing sneakers and is now on the sidelines with Bill Laimbeer and the Liberty, while former Dream point guard Lindsey Harding is now practicing her trade out in Los Angeles with the Sparks -- but two years later the Seimone Augustus-Maya Moore-Lindsay Whalen triumvirate is still strutting in Minnesota and the mercurial Angel McCoughtry remains the emotional and physical focal point of the Eastern Conference Champion Dream squad.
Compiled above and below is a quick snapshot of the Old School, 2011 WNBA Finals matchup between Minnesota and Atlanta. Take a look and be sure to check back on Sunday, Oct 6 on ESPN for the 2.0 version of this now classic WNBA Finals showdown.
Game 1: Lynx Draw First BloodIn Minnesota's first WNBA Finals game in franchise history on Oct. 2, 2011, over 15,000 fans streamed into the Target Center and watched the Lynx post an 88-74 victory over the Dream, highlighted by Rebekkah Brunson's 26-point, 11-rebound effort. Atlanta was hamstrung in its ability to compete in the paint due to the absence of Erika de Souza, who was away on Brazilian National Team duty. Angel McCoughtry did all she could on the offensive end, scoring a game-high 33 points, but the balanced Minnesota attack, which included Seimone Augustus' 22-point contribution, coupled with the frenzied home crowd, was too much for Atlanta.
Game 2: Duel of the AgesIn perhaps the greatest head-to-head individual matchup in WNBA Finals history, Augustus scored 36 points and McCoughtry poured in a Finals-record 38 points in a spectacular 101-95 Lynx victory on Oct. 5, 2011. Despite being slowed by a sore knee, Augustus unveiled her full package of moves, slicing and dicing through the Dream defense, while McCoughtry put forth one of the greatest efforts ever in a losing cause. The buzz for this classic game crossed over to the NBA side as none other than LeBron James was moved to comment on Twitter. With regards to the series, Minnesota took a commanding two-game advantage on the night, with the best-of-five series headed down to Atlanta for Game 3.
Game 3: Lynx Clinch On The RoadWith Dr. J and Lil' Wayne in the house, the Dream fell short in their attempt to extend the series in Atlanta, falling 73-67 to the Lynx in the decisive Game 3 on Oct. 7, 2011. McCoughtry went down with a fight, scoring a game-high 22 points, including nine in the final quarter, but Augustus completed her Finals MVP performance with a team-high 16 points for Minnesota. The Dream got within three points of the Lynx early in the fourth quarter, before rookie Maya Moore buried a clutch trey to beat the shot clock and spark a game-clinching 7-2 run for Minnesota.