Lynx Surprised by Shock, Lose 83-77

Kyle Ratke
Web Editorial Associate

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This isnít something Minnesota Lynx fans have been accustomed to.

Minnesota lost its third straight game after falling to the Tulsa Shock 83-77 at home on Friday night.

Overall, it was a sloppy game from Minnesota, but Tulsa has to be given credit.

"Tulsa played great, they were tired of losing to the Minnesota Lynx," said Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve. "...Tulsa had enough and that was clear from the get-go. And unfortunately for us w e didn't respond with a sense of urgency, even though we talked about that was the importance."

A big part of that might have had to do with the absence of power forward Rebekkah Brunson who was out of the game because of a knee injury. She certainly would have helped guard Tulsaís center Liz Cambage, who dominated the Lynx all night.

The game got off to a rocky start as the Lynx trailed 12-6 with six minutes left in the first quarter, but they got on a roll after that. The team went on a 17-7 run to close the quarter and led 23-20. Small forward Maya Moore led all scorers with 10 points, while hitting both 3-point shots she attempted. She looked to create her own shot without getting out of the foundation offense.

Tulsa shot 53.3 percent in the quarter, which is uncharacteristic, but had five turnovers, which led to five Lynx points.

The second quarter had the same type of feel to it. The Shock came out firing and would take a 31-30 lead with 5:20 left. Cambage was a matchup problem, using her size (6'8", 215 lbs) against the smaller post defenders of Minnesota. At the end of the first half, Cambage had 14 points, while shooting 5-of-6 from the field.

The bright spot in the quarter for Minnesota was Seimone Augustus, who scored 12 points in the quarter, giving her 14 for the half. She also hit 4,000 career points. More on that in a bit. Even with Augustus and her success, the Lynx trailed 44-42 at halftime.

The Shock kept up their hot shooting, finishing the half with a mark of 58.1 percent.

Lynx vs. Shock
Things fell apart in the third quarter for Minnesota. Thanks to a big quarter from rookie Skylar Diggins, who scored eight points in the third, the Shock led 68-58 going into the fourth. The Lynx played careless ball, turning the ball over offensively and not rotating fast enough defensively.

Minnesota played more games with the fansí hearts as Augustus scored four points in the first 38 seconds of the quarter, bringing Minnesota within six. Minnesota would get within three points, but they weren't able to overcome Tulsa.

Augustus led all scorers with 29 points, while adding six rebounds. She shot 12-of-19 from the field. Moore scored just four points after the first quarter, and ended with 14. Point guard Lindsay Whalen added 13 points, but needed 12 shots to get there, while guard Monica Wright scored 12 points off the bench.

Cambage was the star of the game, finishing with 27 points, eight rebounds and two blocks, while shooting 8-of-12 from the field.

"It's a big girl. We didn't get done what we were trying to get done," Reeve said. "It's been a theme throughout these last three games. We have a scouting report that's not being paid attention to the way it should be paid attention to."

Nicole Powell, Diggins, Candice Wiggins and Angel Goodrich all finished with 11 points. Tiffany Jackson-Jones finished with 10 points.

Tulsa shot 50 percent from the field, and likely would have won by more if it weren't for its 17 turnovers. The Lynx shot 45 percent from the field, while shooting 2-of-13 behind the 3-point line.

Minnesota (17-5) sits a half game above the Los Angeles Sparks (17-7) for first place in the West. Tulsa (8-17), is three games back from the No. 4 seed in the West.

Leader of the Pack: Seimone Augustus

There weren't a lot of positives from Friday's game, but the play of Augustus was one of them. Her second quarter performance kept the Lynx in the game, and her 29 points was more than double what any other Lynx player had. She did it on just 19 shots and was 5-of-5 from the free-throw line.

For a career milestone, the 4,000 career points speaks for itself, although Augustus noted that it was a great accolade, but would have been better in a victory.

Highlight of the Game

In the third quarter, forward Dev Peters, who replaced Brunson in the lineup, had three blocks in a five-minute span. Those three blocks would end up being a game-high and got the crowd on its feet. Unfortunately for Minnesota, they weren't able to capitalize on her defense.

The Numbers Game

  • Augustus became the 19th player in WNBA history to reach the 4000-point mark for her career. Tonight was Augustus' 213th contest in a Minnesota uniform; only three players (Diana Taurasi, Cappie Pondexter, Lauren Jackson) have required fewer games to score 4,000.

  • The Lynx have lost back-to-back games at the Target Center since falling to New York and Los Angeles on August 8 and 12, 2010.

  • Going into the game, Minnesota had won 14 in a row against Tulsa, its longest streak against any opponent.

  • Quotable

    "She's and unbelievable scorer. It's a great accomplishment. I wish we could have done it in a win for her." - Lynx point guard Seimone Augustus scoring 4,000 career points.

    Looking Ahead

    The Lynx will stay at home and host the New York Liberty (8-17)) on Sunday at 6 p.m. The game can be heard on BOB 106.1 FM and can be viewed on WNBA LiveAccess.

    For more news and notes on the team follow the Minnesota Lynx on Twitter.