Lynx Claim Third Straight Win
Lynx Postgame Audio
Head coach Jen Gillom
For 25 minutes, the Sparks halted the fast break offense that had been so successful for the Lynx in the first two games. With Los Angeles clinging to a five-point lead midway through the third quarter, Minnesota’s offense exploded to close on a 16-3 run. The Lynx carried that momentum to the final stanza and finished off the Sparks 87-76 on Wednesday night.
"Definitely satisfying," head coach Jen Gillom said. "I thought even against Indiana, who's one of the top defensive teams in the league, was a good job by us. But to beat L.A., with that team that they have, was a great sign for us. We can beat any given team on any night, and that was a huge stepping stone because I think that this team is really starting to believe in themselves. And we beat a team like L.A. It can't do anything but boost your confidence level."
At the 2:55 mark of the third quarter, Seimone Augustus drilled a 3-pointer to tie the game at 55-55. The long bomb from Augustus helped the Lynx find some rhythm on the offensive side of the floor and put together the game-changing run. Augustus led all scorers with 30 points while hitting a barrage of midrange jumpers all over the floor. The tandem of Candice Wiggins and Augustus combined for 16 points in the critical third period run to lift Minnesota to a 3-0 record this season.
Wiggins scored 14 of her 17 points in the second half while attacking the Sparks highly touted defense. At the free throw line, Wiggins was the only member of the Minnesota squad to achieve success with a perfect 4-for-4 performance on the night. As a team, the Lynx only shot 52.3 percent but connected on nine 3-pointers to make up for the lack of scoring at the charity stripe.
"I'm really a second half kind of girl in the history of my life," Wiggins said. "A lot of times the first quarter is still warm-up, getting used to the pace of the game. I just knew that our team needed me to come out and attack. Really, defense is what I came out of the locker room thinking about. Betty Lennox was going off on us. She still kind of did go off but I wanted to make her have as tough of a shot as possible. Getting that defensive confidence back helped me offensively."
The third period also featured the departure of WNBA legend Lisa Leslie. Defensively, Leslie disrupted the Minnesota offense and she affected the glass with eight boards. The Target Center crowd erupted when the officials whistled Leslie for her sixth foul, subsequently sending the Sparks center to the bench.
"Any time you are playing against an Olympian, someone with those kind of accolades, you want to measure yourself up against them. I just wanted to see where I was at. I took it to (Leslie) and I challenged her. I'm not going to back down," Nicky Anosike said.
On the opposite side of the paint, Anosike was a strong defensive presence with five blocked shots in the victory. Anosike and the starters all played over 30 minutes.
"I don't think we're thrilled at all. I think that we know that last year had a great start," Anosike added. "We started 5-0 and we didn't make the playoffs. Every game, we go into it thinking this could have been the two games we missed it by (last year). That really helps us get through the tough points in the game... It's a stepping stone, definitely, but we need to go ahead and keep looking forward to getting another one on Friday."
The next challenge for the Lynx is another home contest against Seattle on Friday night.
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