Lynx Thunder Past Storm, 90-72
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Let the good times roll.
After defeating the Seattle Storm (8-11) 90-72 on Sunday evening, the Lynx have now won nine straight games, and 18 straight games at the Target Center.
It took two minutes for the Lynx to get on the scoreboard, but after that, the scoreboard operator had a pretty busy night.
All five Lynx starters scored in the quarter, while the three Olympians, Moore, Lindsay Whalen and Seimone Augustus, had a combined 16 points.
It was smooth sailing from that point on for the most part.
It was Rebekkah Brunson who owned the second quarter. Brunson had 10 points in the quarter to give her 12 going into the half.
"I thought Rebekkah did a great job of seeing what was available to her, she knew anytime you play Seattle, they will give a lot of attention to Seimone and Maya... She knew at anytime she had the jumper or she had the drive," said Lynx head coach Cheryl Reeve. "She had a tremendous second quarter for us."
The Lynx led 46-32 at the break, while shooting 52.8 percent from the field. The Storm, on the other hand, shot just 36.7 percent and finished 1-for-11 from the 3-point line.
At one point, Minnesota saw its 31 point lead dwindle to 13 points, but the Lynx went onto hold on, eventually stretching the lead back to 18 points by the end of the game. A key was Minnesota's ability to force 18 turnovers while committing just nine. The Lynx ended the game shooting 50.7 percent from the field, while holding Seattle to 41.3 percent.
One thing that head coach Cheryl Reeve wasn't thrilled about was the rebounding. Minnesota outrebounded Seattle 33-32, but Reeve thought the team could have done a better job on the boards.
It was a smooth night for the starters for Minnesota. Whalen led the team with 22 points, while finishing with seven assists and five rebounds. Augustus finished with 18 points and six rebounds while shooting 6-of-10 from the field. Moore finished with 16 points and had three blocks and two steals, while Brunson finished with 12 points and 11 rebounds. It is her eighth double-double of the season.
Center Janel McCarville had a solid game, finishing with six points and seven assists.
Seattle forward Shekinna Stricklen had a game-high 24 points. Twelve of those came from behind the 3-point line. The ageless wonder Tina Thompson finished with 12 points, while Camille Little had 10.
The Storm are in fourth place in the West, just 1.5 games ahead of San Antonio.
The Lynx (16-3) hold a 3.5 game lead in the West and have the league's best record.
Leader of the Pack: Lindsay Whalen
It looked like Whalen was deserving of winning July’s Western Conference Player of the Month Award.
While she didn’t win that, we’ll give her tonight’s Leader of the Pack.
It looks like the former Golden Gopher is playing the best ball of her career, and she put that on display during Sunday night’s win, finishing with 22 points, seven assists and five rebounds while shooting 11-of-20 from the field.
"I was kind of surprised I took 20 (shots)," Whalen said. "I usually don't' shoot that much, but tonight they were clogging in and I got some draw and kicks and had a couple break away layups... (I) just kind of be aggressive and did what I could."
Whalen has scored 15 or more points in seven of her last eight games. She's shown the ability to turn the scoring switch on when needed and of course is still a phenomenal facilitator.
Highlight of the Game
In the first quarter, Augustus finished a layup and was fouled by Little in the process. She finished the 3-point play to give the team an 11-4 lead with 5:59 left in the first quarter. Less than 30 seconds later, Moore hit a layup from a McCarville pass and was fouled by Johnson. Moore finished the 3-point play and gave the Lynx a 16-6 lead, setting the tone for the rest of the game.
The Numbers Game
"She had a great passing night tonight. I thought she found people right in stride. I got a couple so that was nice. I think that she is a great passer, she sees the floor so well," Whalen said. "That's one of the strengths she really brings to the team."
"I'm just glad that we are winning. We are taking care of things at home and we've been winning here and we've been playing really, really well. What the team needs to win I'm going to do it," - Lynx forward Rebekkah Brunson on her double-double.
The Lynx will hit the road and travel to play the San Antonio Silver Stars (7-13) on Tuesday. The game is scheduled to start a 7 p.m. and will be aired on WNBA LiveAccess and John Focke will have the radio call on BOB 106.1 FM.
Minnesota beat the Silver Stars 85-63 last Friday at the Target Center.
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