Lynx Dispatch Storm With Strong Finish
Lynx Postgame Audio
Head coach Jen Gillom
Don't shut the postseason door on this Lynx team just yet. With its back firmly against the wall, Minnesota rallied late in the fourth quarter to defeat Seattle 76-68 for the first time this season.
"As usual this team knows how to fight back," head coach Jen Gillom said. "I saw some really good things and I'm really proud of this team, they just continue to impress me."
Candice Wiggins slashed through the lane and completed a crucial 3-point play to knock the Storm lead down to one point with 4:37 remaining in the final stanza. The Lynx then outscored Seattle 12-3 in the final four minutes en route to a critical victory. With the win, Minnesota remains in the playoff hunt despite San Antonio crushing Los Angeles 89-72 on Saturday night.
"We are still in it," Wiggins said. "We can only control our own destiny from now on."
Prior to tipoff, the team announced that Nicky Anosike would miss the game due to left knee soreness. On the other side, Seattle played without star center Lauren Jackson for the fourth straight game and Sue Bird was unable to suit up with a sore neck.
The short-handed Storm struggled in the first quarter as the Lynx established a relentless pace on both sides of the floor. Minnesota only allowed five points and Seattle could not hit a bucket by shooting 13.3 percent. Tasha Humphrey stepped into the starting lineup and delivered in that first period by scoring five early points and grabbing four boards.
Throughout the contest, Charde Houston displayed a balanced sense of focus and desperation. The forward utilized her superior speed on the perimeter to take the opposing defenders off the dribble countless times. Houston finished the game shooting 70 percent from the field and 22 points in the victory.
"My focus was to get it done by any means necessary, just to lay it all on the line. This is our final chance, you know it's not like in the middle of the season when you can say, and we'll get it next time. I just wanted to leave out on the court," Houston said.
The momentum tipped towards the Storm in the third quarter after Swin Cash became more aggressive. In fact, Seattle dominated the third period 30-17 with red-hot proficiency from the floor. Cash and Tanisha Wright combined for 39 points in a valiant effort without their two best players in the lineup.
Even with the loss, the Storm clinched second place in the Western Conference playoffs. Seattle will host the first round series.
Minnesota improved to 13-18 with no timetable on Anosike's return to action. San Antonio's victory held the Lynx from gaining any ground in the hunt for the postseason. With three games left in the season, Minnesota sits one game behind the Silver Stars and San Antonio has the tiebreaker in its back pocket.
Next up for the Lynx is the home finale against Detroit on Wednesday night at 7 PM.
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