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Minnesota Lynx (25-9) vs. San Antonio Stars (16-18) 8:00 PM, Target Center
Where To Listen: BOB 106.1 FM
Where To Watch: ESPN 2
Western Conference Semifinals
For the Minnesota Lynx, the real season starts now.
Most teams should and do take the WNBA regular season very seriously. The Lynx were no different, knowing they had to get everything on the same page before postseason play started. And after 25 wins this season, the Lynx did it again. Although they didnít capture the No. 1 seed in the West, they did become the first team in WNBA history to win 25 or more games in four consecutive seasons.
Itís playoff time, though. For a team thatís made the WNBA Finals three years in a row (winning two), the Lynx know just how important every game is, especially in a three-game series.
The Stars rallied at the end of the season to go from the four seed in the West to the three seed. Going against either Phoenix or Minnesota, though, it seems like more of a ďpick your poisonĒ situation.
This Weekís Results
The Lynx are coming off of an 80-63 win over the Tulsa Shock on Saturday, closing out the 2014 regular season. Maya Moore led the way with 19 points and a game-high 12 rebounds. She was 6-of-12 from the field and made 7-of-8 free throws. Seimone Augustus added 13 points. The Lynx outrebounded the Shock 49 to 33.
San Antonio is coming off three straight wins, clinching them the third seed in the West. The Stars last game came on Sunday when they defeated Chicago 84-72 on the road. Four players finished in double-digits for San Antonio. Danielle Adams led the way with 18 points and 11 boards. Jia Perkins led the bench with 11 points, shooting 6-of-11 from the field. Rookie Kayla McBride and Shenise Johnson finished with 12 points each. The Stars shot 48.6 percent from the field.
Minnesota has played San Antonio five times this season, winning four. The teams last battled on August 15 in San Antonio and the Stars came away with a 92-76 win over the Lynx.
Itís worth noting that the Lynx didnít bring Augustus on the trip. Maya Moore led Minnesota with 20 points, while Tan White had a bench-high 15 points. Lindsay Whalen added 13 points and six assists as well.
Perkins led San Antonio with 23 points off the bench, shooting 9-of-15 from the field. Adams finished with 19 points, while speedy point guard Danielle Robinson added 12 points. Veteran and future Hall of Famer Becky Hammon handed out 10 assists to go with her seven points.
Key Matchup: Maya Moore vs. Kayla McBride
San Antonio is one team that has actually done a pretty decent job of shutting down MVP candidate Maya Moore. In five games against San Antonio, Moore is averaging 19.4 points (4.5 points fewer than season average) and 7.2 rebounds per game (0.8 fewer). But more importantly for Lynx fans, Minnesota has won four out of the five games. Moore will take the win over her numbers any day.
Rookie wing Kayla McBride has had a pretty successful rookie campaign. The Notre Dame product is averaging 13 points per game, shooting 39.6 percent from the 3-point line. Like San Antonio to Moore, Minnesota has kept McBride in check, holding her to just 11.2 points per game.
Odds say that neither player will be a huge difference maker (odd saying that about an MVP candidate, huh?), considering how both teams have quieted both players throughout the season. But if Moore explodes, the Lynx could find themselves running away with Game 1. The Lynx will do their best to keep McBride away from the 3-point line and hold her to around the 9 to 13 point range.
Minnesota forward Damiris Dantas (personal) is questionable.
San Antonio guard Davellyn Whyte (knee) remains out for the season.
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