Lynx Top Mercury 96-80
Web Editorial Associate
"I thought, in the end, we played an overall pretty solid game," coach Cheryl Reeve said. "And got a home win in front of a sellout crowd, which was fun."
Through the first half, the Mercury kept pace with the Lynx, taking the lead for a brief period early in the second quarter. But the Lynx, fueled by Taj McWilliams-Franklin’s 11 first-half points and Rebekkah Brunson’s 10, would finish the half up 51-45.
"I think that's a key that makes us so good, is that you never know where it's going to come from," Brunson said of the squad's well-rounded scoring. "Everybody comes out and we play really well collectively and individually, so it's a challenge for the defense."
The Lynx held the Mercury to 35.1 percent shooting and outrebounded them 45-31. Although DeWanna Bonner finished with 23 points, she scored only five in the second half and none in the fourth quarter, when Minnesota was able to widen the lead. Samantha Prahalis finished with 20 points and Alexis Gray-Lawson had 13.
Leader of the Pack: Rebekkah Brunson
"Brunson was the game ball for us," Reeve said. "[She] played just under 22 minutes, and I don't know if you can get any more efficient than what she did. And the separator for me was what she did defensively. I thought she was pretty locked in early in the game. ... She got us a lot of possessions tonight, and possessions are huge for us."
"I think all of us went to the boards really hard and aggressive and we know that that's the key to stopping them in transition, which is where they get the majority of their points," Brunson said of the team's rebounding effort.
Highlight of the Game
With just under seven minutes to go in the first quarter, McWilliams-Franklin got in the way of a Samantha Prahalis pass and managed to get the ball up the court to Lindsay Whalen for a fast break. Whalen put the moves on her defender and made the contested layup, only to be called on a travelling violation. Target Center erupted with disapproval, and both Reeve and Whalen were visibly upset. "We were getting ready to blow them out," Reeve said. "And I told him, 'That's a play that should be on ESPN's highlights; that's on SportsCenter tonight,' and he agreed [she joked]."
The Numbers Game
Quote of the Night
"Any given night, someone's going to step up. Tonight it was really balanced ... six players in double figures. The next night it might be a different group of six that's in the double figures. … In the first half, we had 16 assists on 18 field goals, which is really good. It just shows our unselfishness." -- Lindsay Whalen
The Lynx head out on the road next, taking on San Antonio on Sunday, July 1, at 2 p.m. and Los Angeles on Thursday, July 5, at 2 p.m. They then return to Target Center for a July 7 game against Connecticut at 7 p.m.
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