Scouting Report: Lynx at Silver Stars
Web Editorial Associate
Lynx (13-1) at Silver Stars (6-5) – 2 p.m. AT&T Center
Where to Watch: No TV; WNBA Live Access
Where to Listen: 106.1 FM
The Minnesota Lynx have chased and reached an assortment of team milestones so far this season, and Sunday’s matchup in San Antonio could yield one more. When the Silver Stars host the Lynx on Sunday afternoon, Minnesota has an opportunity to match the 1998 Houston Comets for the best 15-game start to a season in WNBA history.
Tipoff is set for 2 p.m. at AT&T Center.
The matchup in San Antonio starts what Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve called the most difficult week of the season: Road games against the Silver Stars and Los Angeles Sparks and a home game against the Connecticut Sun.
The Lynx already have the league record for most consecutive wins without a loss to start the year after they began 2012 at 10-0. Since their June 17 loss to the Storm in Seattle, the Lynx have stormed back with three straight home victories over the Liberty, Sky and Mercury. The three wins have come by an average of 20.0 points per game.
The latest in that stretch came against the Mercury on Wednesday, when Minnesota had six players scoring in double digits. Seimone Augustus and Rebekkah Brunson each had 16, Maya Moore had 15, Taj McWilliams-Franklin and Monica Wright had 13 and Amber Harris had 10. Brunson and McWillilams-Franklin each had double-doubles in the win, adding 13 and 11 rebounds, respectively, and helped add to the team’s 45-31 rebounding advantage.
The Silver Stars enter Sunday’s game having won four of their past five games, including back-to-back wins against the Los Angeles Sparks—the team with the second best record in the West. During San Antonio’s 94-80 win over the Sparks on Thursday, Sophia Young led the way with 23 points on 9-of-15 shooting while Becky Hammon chipped in 17, Shameka Christon had 15, Alana Bear had 14 and Jia Perkins had 12. The Silver Stars shot 50 percent from 3-point range (10-for-20) in the win.
Last Time Out
The Lynx beat the Silver Stars in their first matchup this year, with Minnesota’s starting five turning in top performances, including 17 points from both Rebekkah Brunson and Maya Moore. Lindsay Whalen had 15 points, and Seimone Augustus had 13.
The Lynx exploded early and led 50-29 at halftime and still by 26 points midway through the third quarter. But the Silver Stars got hot late, and the Lynx failed at times to match their intensity but were able to hold on for the win. Silver Stars reserve Danielle Adams exploded for 21 points off the bench to lead San Antonio, Jia Perkins had 16 points and Sophia Young had 14. Veteran Becky Hammon was held to only seven points.
The Statistics Game
Minnesota enters tonight’s game the league leader in points per game (85.5), point differential (14.21), field-goal percentage (49.1 percent), 3-point percentage (41.5 percent), and assists per game (20.07). But in San Antonio, the Lynx will run into a Silver Stars club that is providing them company at the top of the league’s offensive categories.
San Antonio is fourth in points per game (80.9), third in point differential (5.18), third in 3-point percentage (37.7 percent) and second in assists per game (18.63). They are currently 6-2 at home compared to their 2-4 record away from AT&T Center, making Sunday’s game a true test for the Lynx as they leave Target Center for the first time since that road loss to Seattle. Minnesota is 5-1 on the road this season.
Key matchup: Brunson vs. Young
Rebekkah Brunson has been solid as the Lynx’s leading rebounder this year. Currently averaging 8.4 rebounds per game, she is also their third-leading scorer, owning an 11.6 average. Having been held to single digit scoring in their previous four games, Brunson put up a double-double 16 points and 13 rebounds to help lift the Lynx to their most recent win over the Mercury.
Sophia Young leads the Silver Stars in both scoring and rebounding with 16.7 points and 7.4 rebounds per game. The six-year veteran has posted double-digit scoring in all but two early-season games this year, and has scored 20 or more points in three of their last four contests.
Silver Stars center Tangela Smith and Lynx center Jessica Adair have both been out due to knee operations.
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