Lynx Top Mercury 96-80

Andrea Allis
Web Editorial Associate


The injury-plagued Phoenix Mercury came hungry and fought hard against a Minnesota Lynx team that wouldn’t surrender en route to their 13th win of the season. The Lynx tonight became only the second team in WNBA history to obtain a 13-1 record, joining the 1998 Houston Comets and collecting a 96-80 win against the Mercury at Target Center.

"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.

Lynx vs. Mercury
Brunson and McWilliams-Franklin each recorded double-doubles, Brunson leading with 16 points and 13 rebounds and McWilliams-Franklin with 13 points and 11 rebounds. Four more Lynx players finished with double-digit scoring, including Seimone Augustus (16), Maya Moore (15), Monica Wright (13) and Amber Harris (10).

"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

Although she’s been in a bit of a scoring slump as of late, Brunson snapped out of it tonight, leading the Lynx in scoring (alongside Augustus) with 16 points and grabbing 13 rebounds. Her double-double tonight was the 48th of Brunson's career, and her 22nd for Minnesota, a new franchise-best.

"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

Maya Moore Postgame Interview

The Lynx drew a crowd of 9,674 for the night, the third consecutive game Minnesota has drawn over 9,000 fans and the second consecutive sellout. ... Brunson and McWilliams-Franklin led the Lynx to a 42-24 points in the paint advantage over Phoenix. ... Maya Moore collected her 23rd consecutive game with a three-pointer, dating back to last season. ... The Lynx finished with 27 assists on 35 field goals, while the Mercury had only 8 on 26 field goals.

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

Looking Ahead

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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