Lynx Bounce Back, Beat Shock 88-79
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The memory of Fridayís 87-59 loss to the Los Angeles Sparks certainly didnít last very long. In fact it lasted just two days.
The Minnesota Lynx redeemed themselves with an 88-79 win behind a big night from Minnesota's starters.
It seemed like a little bit of Fridayís game came back to Minnesota, as the Lynx (6-2) trailed19-12 with three minutes left in the first quarter. Head coach Cheryl Reeve decided it was time for a timeout and whatever she said, seemed to work as the team tied the game at 22 to close out the quarter. The Lynx went on to continue that momentum for the rest of the game.
The starting five certainly had a night to remember. Both Maya Moore and Seimone Augustus finished with a team-high 22 points. Rebekkah Brunson finished with her third double-double of the season, finishing with 11 points and 11 rebounds. Lindsay Whalen nearly joined her in the double-double club, finishing with 19 points and nine assists. Eleven of those points came from the free-throw line. And not to be forgotten, center Janel McCarville had a great night, finishing with eight points and six rebounds, making all four of her shot attempts.
Center Glory Johnson led the Shock with 24 points and eight rebounds. Rookie point guard Skylar Diggins ended with 11 assists, which tied a season-high.
In her first game back to the Target Center since being traded in the offseason, Candice Wiggins received cheers from the Minnesota fan base that watched her play since the Lynx drafted her in 2008. Wiggins finished with 14 points.
Minnesota has now won 12 consecutive home games and 13 consecutive games over the Shock. Both are team records.
Leader of the pack: Seimone Augustus
This was a very difficult choice and after talking to all voters involved in the process (me), weíve decided on Augustus.
Really, though, this could have gone to four players.
Moore finished with three big 3-pointers. Whalen was 11-for-14 from the free-throw line and gave her team the leadership it needed in this bounce-back game. Brunson rebounded the ball. That's what she does.
But Augustus set the tone for the team early, playing all 10 minutes in the first quarter, finishing with eight points while shooting 4-for-5 from the field. She ended the game shooting a very efficient 9-for-13 from the field. Coincidentally, it's the third time she's shot 9-for-13 from the field this season. That just speaks to how efficient she is and can be.
The former LSU star had her worst game of the season on Friday, finishing with just six points, but she turned that around on Sunday night, finishing with the best game of the season.
Reeve doesn't think her offense sparked the team as much as she did defensively, though.
"'Mone had an offensive game where we just had to keep running stuff for her," Reeve said. "I think she really got rolling because she was defending really hard. Those guards are a handful... I thought that really got her wheels rolling and she got some opportunities and had a nice flow to her." Highlight of the Game
The Lynx trailed 12-20 with 2:36 left in the first quarter. It was then when Brunson dished the ball to Moore who shot a contested 3-point shot and nailed it. In fact, it was so contested that it was actually a foul on Wiggins. Moore would hit the free throw and started what would be a 10-3 run to close the quarter.
"I'm always trying to help my team," Moore said. "And when I'm open I shoot, my teammates do a great job of getting me open and finding me. It's a big part of my role is being a finisher. I was just thankful the ball was going in the hole tonight because sometimes it doesn't."
After Minnesota starters combined for just 17 points on 7-of-25 shooting on Friday in Los Angeles, the Lynx starting five were outstanding Sunday night. They combined for 82 points on 29-of-45 (.644). They also added 29 rebounds and 18 assists.
ďI just saw so many 11 jerseys and shirts that I didnít even know were out there. Iím just really appreciative of the support and the love, and Iím sure it was hard for them because they were cheering really loud, but then I got on the free throw line and they were booing. I was like 'wait a minute'. Kind of felt like I got turned against. Just kidding. It was really, really amazing. I had some much energy, so much emotion, but I really wanted to win. That was the hardest part." - Tulsa guard Candice Wiggins on her return to the Target Center.
The Lynx will look for revenge against the Los Angeles Sparks at 7 p.m. on Friday. The game will be at the Target Center and will be available to listen to via 106.1 BOB FM and can be viewed on WNBA LiveAccess.
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