Lynx Resilient In Home Finale
Lynx Postgame Audio
Bill Laimbeer with Alan Horton
Head coach Jen Gillom
Break out the ice bags in the Lynx training room after the team won a hard fought battle against the Shock on Wednesday night. Minnesota rallied late in the fourth quarter with nine straight points to top Detroit 75-72 in the home finale. The victory moved the Lynx into a tie with San Antonio for the fourth and final spot in the Western Conference playoffs.
"This team hasn't given up yet and they won't," head coach Jen Gillom said. "That's what I love most about this team, they fight until the end."
Minnesota survived a late 13-0 run from Detroit with former Pistons Bad Boy Bill Laimbeer watching the game courtside and Rick Mahorn on the Shock sidelines as the head coach. Rookie point guard Renee Montgomery jumpstarted the charge with a 3-pointer at the 1:17 mark as Minnesota faced a two-point deficit. Rashanda McCants then hit a floater in the lane to tie the game but Spanish star Anna Montanana became the hero with a putback jumper off the glass to give the Lynx a 71-69 lead with only 28.6 remaining in the final period.
The shot from Montanana was the second shining moment for the forward in the victory. Montanana drilled a 3-pointer at the end of the third quarter to increase the Lynx advantage to 62-56. The international veteran finished with 12 points in 24 minutes to help lift Minnesota to a 14-18 record on the season.
Nicky Anosike missed her second consecutive game with a partially torn meniscus in her left knee but the bench stepped up in her absence. McCants recorded 12 points and Montgomery bounced back from a scoreless performance against Seattle with 12 points in the crucial victory.
Kelly Miller displayed defensive determination against Eastern Conference Player of the Week, Deanna Nolan. Heading into the matchup, Nolan was averaging over 16 points a game and was held to just nine points on 3-for-19 shooting from the field. The Shock only shot 39.4 percent from the floor in the loss that drops the defending champs to 16-16.
Minnesota held its ground against a physical Detroit squad. Cheryl Ford pounded the glass with 12 boards as the Shock outrebounded the Lynx 43-27. After a slow start, Ford found open space in the lane through several pick-and-roll scenarios. Ford led all scorers with 16 points.
"I told them it was going to be a physical game and that's Detroit's style. But I'm glad they did do it to us because now we can go to LA and they are going to be physical just as much. They needed those bumps and bruises to get through the next game and now they know how to handle it. I this was a great experience for us tonight and right now I think those girls' are saying bring it on," Gillom said.
On Friday night, the Lynx hope to carry their momentum to the West Coast with a contest against Los Angeles. Two days later, Sacramento will host Minnesota in the season finale. San Antonio still holds the tiebreaker over the Lynx and the Silver Stars play the Monarchs on Thursday night.
For more news and notes on the team follow the Minnesota Lynx on Twitter.