Lynx Winning Streak Ends With 79-75 Loss to Mystics
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One had to think getting some revenge on the Washington Mystics was going through the mind of some Minnesota Lynx players. It was the Mystics that on June 8 gave the Lynx their first loss of the season.
The Mystics seem to have Minnesota's number, as they beat the Lynx 79-75 in a game that was tight, physical and came down to the wire.
The Lynx were without center Janel McCarville, who sat out with a concussion she received early in Tuesday's game against the San Antonio Silver Stars. Amber Harris replaced her, starting for the first time in her career. While the results for Harris were mixed, so were the results from the Lynx.
Things got off to a rocky start. Seven minutes into the game, the Lynx trailed 21-10 and All-Star guard Ivory Latta had 14 points while shooting 5-of-5 from the field, three coming from the 3-point line.
The Mystics led after the first quarter 22-21 behind 14 points from Latta.
It appeared from the get-go that the refs were going to let the teams play as the game seemed pretty physical.
Small forward Maya Moore Moore led the Lynx with nine points after the first, while power forward Rebekkah Brunson had six. Minnesota had a very uncharacteristic first quarter as it was outrebounded 12 to seven, something Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve wasn’t happy about at all.
The start of the second quarter wasn’t much better and the Lynx trailed 45-40 at halftime.
Moore led the Lynx with 16 points at half, while shooting 7-for-10 from the field. Both Brunson and point guard Lindsay Whalen had eight. Dev Peters and Seimone Augustus had four each.
Latta led all scorers with 19 points, while shooting 7-of-7 from the field. Twelve of those points came from behind the 3-point line. The key of the first half came down to both 3-point shooting and rebounds. The Mystics were 5-for-8 from behind the 3-point line, while the Lynx were 2-for-6. The rebounding woes continued in the quarter as well as Washington outrebounded Minnesota 21 to 13 after the first half.
To say the Lynx came out firing on all cylinders in the second half would be a lie. The Mystics extended their lead to 53-47 less than four minutes into the third quarter. The Lynx battled back and trailed 61-58 going into the third quarter.
In the fourth, Whalen gave the Lynx at 62-61 lead with nine minutes left and after that. The Lynx trailed by three and it was then when Augustus nailed 3-pointer to tie the game at 75-75 with 36.4 seconds left, getting the crown on its feet.
Unfortunately, the Lynx weren't able to capitalize on that, as the Mystics outscored the Lynx 4-0 in the final seconds to secure the win. Throughout the whole game, the Lynx battled, but it never seemed like they were really flowing.
Moore led the way for Minnesota with 24 points. Whalen added 19 to go along with five assists and four rebounds, while Augustus finished with 18 points.
Washington was led by Latta, who finished with 24 points while finishing shooting 9-of-11 from the field. Forward Monique Currie finished with 20 points and eight rebounds. Guard Matee Ajavon scored 18 points, while Crystal Langhorne added 10.
The Mystics outrebounded the Lynx 44 to 24, which ended up being the difference in the game.
"Disappointing to not just lose a game but to get destroyed on the glass, really disappointed," Reeve said. "We had a player down in the post and we did a very, very poor job of filling the void."
The Lynx (17-4) now sit 2.5 games over the Los Angeles Spark (15-7), while Washington is now in fourth place in the Eastern Conference, which would be good enough for a playoff spot if the season ended now.
Leader of the Pack: Maya Moore
Moore was one of very few reasons why the Lynx were able to stay in the game during the first half. She finished the game with a team-high 24 points, while shooting 9-of-15 from the field. She was 4-for-7 from the 3-point line. She also added three rebounds, three assists, two blocks and a team-high four steals.
Highlight of the Game
It was when Lynx fans thought they had a chance to win the game. There was a loose ball. Nobody quite knew where it was. Monica Wright grabbed it, passed to Augustus and Augustus nailed the three to tie the game at 75.
It would have been a better highlight had the Lynx been able to take the lead later in the quarter, but unfortunately for Lynx fans, that wasn't the case.
The Numbers Game
"It was a great performance by the Mystics. Hats off to them. They competed hard, made some tough shots. We didn't come in with the rebounding focus we needed to. Those missed possessions hurt us." - Lynx forward Maya Moore on the lack of rebounding from Minnesota.
The Lynx will hit the road and travel to play rookie Elena Delle Donne and the Chicago Sky (13-7) at 5 p.m. on Sunday.
Minnesota then has five days off before hosting the Tulsa Shock (7-15).
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