Lynx Looking To Rebound From Loss To Silver Stars
Web Editorial Associate
Coach Cheryl Reeve and her Minnesota Lynx knew they had a tough game ahead of them down in San Antonio against a team who had won four of their last five games and seemed to be hitting their stride.
The Silver Stars didn't disappoint on Sunday, as they came out shooting hot, with Becky Hammon scoring 23 points including seven 3-pointers and Sophia Young putting up 22 points. San Antonio shot 52 percent from beyond the arc, draining a season-high 13 threes in 25 attempts.
"It was everything we expected," Reeve said after the game. "Offensively they are playing very confidently. We think the two teams, Minnesota and San Antonio, are very similar. That's what we told our team. This is a team that is unselfish. They share the ball. They don’t care who gets the credit; they just want to get the win. They are deep. They have a great bench, and they have a great coach."
With the loss, Minnesota drops to 13-2, still the best start in franchise history, and ties the second-best 15-game start in WNBA history.
Monica Wright provided 18 points off the bench to lead the Lynx in scoring. Lindsay Whalen added 15 points and Rebekkah Brunson posted her 49th career double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds. But the Lynx were unable to overcome an early deficit, allowing the Silver Stars a 15-4 lead early and scrambling to catch up for the remainder of the game.
Silver Stars coach Dan Hughes told his team that their game against the Lynx would be a game of runs, and he was right. San Antonio ended the first quarter up 35-22, only to be outscored by the Lynx in the second quarter 21-12. The early deficit, however, combined with a Silver Stars team that continued to shoot well and play a hard defensive game, would prove too much for the Lynx to overcome.
“We just needed to be in a position to be able to make the last [run], because as you can see they are a team that is not only good offensively, they are good defensively," Hughes said. "Getting some key stops helped, and I thought ... that in the first half we played two quarters of opposite ends. We controlled the first quarter and they certainly controlled the second. The second half gave us the ability to play two good quarters in a row, which gave us a chance at a win.”
Wright said the loss will only motivate the team to further improve. Defense has been the focus of much of their attention in recent practices, and the Lynx will take what they learned from the loss and continue to hone in on that aspect of their game. The squad will take advantage of some practice time when they return to Minnesota early this week before heading out to Los Angeles to take on the Sparks on Thursday at 2 p.m.
“Our defense is just not what is has been. I don’t know what it is going to take,” Wright said after the game. “We are not going to get down. We are going to get back in the gym when we get back to Minnesota.”
Despite the team's disappointment, Wright gave credit to a San Antonio team on the rise who did what they needed to earn the win.
“San Antonio played a great game," Wright said. "They came out from the first minute to the last minute hitting threes and just playing well. We are definitely not happy with the way we played, at all. We could have done so much more ... defensively and offensively. It just seemed like one of those nights for us.”
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