San Antonio Evens Series At Home
SAN ANTONIO (AP)—The San Antonio Silver Stars finally figured out the Minnesota Lynx, and just in the nick of time.
Jia Perkins scored 24 points and Sophia Young had 23 as the Silver Stars beat the Lynx 84-75 Sunday to even the Western Conference semifinals series.
Becky Hammon added 18 for the Silver Stars, who had lost seven straight games to Minnesota and are trying to get past the first round for the first time since reaching the WNBA finals in 2008.
"It feels great," Young said of ending their skid against the Lynx. "Obviously, Minnesota is a good team. To finally come in and get a win, it's amazing. I thought our team played tremendous."
Seimone Augustus scored 24 points and Maya Moore had 16 for Minnesota, which had the league's best regular-season record but has never won a playoff series. Lindsay Whalen added 15 points for the Lynx, and Rebekkah Brunson had a game-high 16 rebounds.
Moore was in foul trouble throughout the game and fouled out with 4.9 seconds left.
The deciding Game 3 will be Tuesday night at Minneapolis.
The Silver Stars used a 17-2 run in the third quarter to take control of the game. They held Minnesota to 30 of 76 shooting and forced 17 turnovers.
"We knew Minnesota plays at their best in the third quarter," Young said. "Our mindset coming out of the half was to just be as aggressive as possible, get our hands on the loose balls, rebound the ball, push it, get some transition buckets, and I think we did a great job of that."
Young scored 17 points in the second half for San Antonio.
The Silver Stars shot 8 of 16 in the third quarter and led 64-50 heading into the fourth. Young had nine points in the quarter, hitting 5 of 7 free throws. Her layup with 4:44 left capped a 17-2 run and gave the Silver Stars a 57-41 lead.
"San Antonio succeeded in putting the pressure back on us," Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve said. "We fought all season to have home-court advantage. Win the home games, and you're the WNBA champion."
Perkins had eight points in the third quarter, including two 3-pointers.
"I think just getting in a rhythm before the game, getting some shots up, really helped me," Perkins said. "I knew in the game, I was going to have some open looks. I knew last game I had open looks, but I wasn't able to hit them down. Coming in, I had my mindset right, and I just wanted to knock them down for the team."
The Silver Stars led 40-37 at halftime behind 14 points from Perkins and 12 from Hammon. Augustus led Minnesota with 12 points and Whalen had 11.
The Silver Stars went on an 11-0 run in the second quarter to take their biggest lead, 31-20. Hammon highlighted the spurt by coming up behind Moore, who wasn't paying attention, stealing the ball and hitting a streaking Perkins for a layup with 6:18 remaining. On the next possession, Hammon hit a 3.
Whalen led Minnesota back, scoring all 11 of her first-half points over the final 4:54 of the quarter. Her 3 as the shot clock expired brought Minnesota to 40-36 and Monica Wright's free throw shortly before halftime made it 40-37.
The Silver Stars led 18-14 after the first quarter. Moore went to the bench with 5:46 left in the quarter with her second foul and never returned. Augustus, though, had seven points in the quarter to keep Minnesota close.
Before the game, Silver Stars center Ruth Riley, along with Seattle's Sue Bird, was named co-winner of the league's sportsmanship award.
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- GAME NIGHT