For a team that had a record-breaking start to the season, the Minnesota Lynx has a new, more undesirable streak on its hands.
With the Connecticut Sun defeating the Lynx 86-80 on Saturday night, Minnesota has now lost three games in a row tonight being its first loss at home since last season.
We have to keep working hard, guard Lindsay Whalen said. It is what it is. You cant make an excuse its a tough stretch for us right now. Well get through it together.
Lynx vs. Sun
Minnesota came out flat to begin the game, finding themselves down 20-10 at one point early on. Key players struggled from the field over the course of the first half, most notably Rebekkah Brunson (1-for-8) and Taj McWilliams-Franklin (1-for-5). While the Lynx had trouble scoring points, Connecticut took full advantage and shot a blistering 62 percent in the first quarter.
It was a tough night for our bigs, coach Cheryl Reeve said. Especially in the first half. I thought for the most part, Brunson got really good shots. Those are shots she usually makes. On the other hand, we had [Tina] Charles on the other end punishing us.
The Lynx eventually went on a 12-4 run and claimed the lead partway through the second quarter, battling back and forth with the Sun until halftime. The lead changed six times in the first half before Connecticut took control for the rest of the game.
Thats not to say the Lynx gave up, however; they continued to battle throughout the second half and made a strong, late comeback push after back-to-back 3-pointers from Maya Moore. The hometown crowd enjoying their third straight sellout game erupted when a Candice Wiggins three pulled Minnesota within four points.
We had a sense of urgency, Reeve said of the teams comeback effort. With five minutes to go, they played a little more passively. That gave us a chance to increase our aggression. They missed some shots, we got the rebounds, and we started scoring the ball. Unfortunately we werent able to tie it.
Connecticut would prove to be too tough for Minnesota in the end, holding on and improving their road record to a league-best 6-1 (12-5 overall). Kara Lawson led the Sun with 22 points, accompanied by Charles (19) and Asjha Jones (16). The Lynx dropped to 13-4, losing their first home game all season.
Leader of the Pack: Seimone Augustus
Augustus was the lone Lynx player to shoot over 50 percent (6-for-10), and her 12 points in the first half kept the Sun from completely pulling away. She played a key role in Minnesotas early comeback efforts and went on to finish the game with 14 total points.
Highlight of the Game
Minnesota found itself down early, due partially to shooting 35 percent from the field in the first quarter. With only a few seconds left, guard Maya Moore tossed up a buzzer-beating three-pointer to cut the deficit to five. The hometown crowd erupted, and the Lynx went on to log a 12-4 run in the second quarter to assume the lead.
The Numbers Game
A sellout crowd of 10,882 fans attended tonights game against the Sun, Minnesotas third consecutive sellout and fourth consecutive game with 9,000+ fans Maya Moore (19 points tonight, averaging 13.1 this year) and Taj McWilliams-Franklin (15 points tonight, averaging 8.4) both significantly outscored their season averages Tonight was Moores 24th straight game with a 3-pointer The Lynx will continue to lead the WNBA in total assists per game, compiling 21 tonight. Theyre averaging 20.1 on the season.
Quote of the Night
I feel like were going to adjust to [adversity] the way we always had. Last year, people talk about the wins but we faced adversity last year and we turned it around and ended up winning the championship. I think the next two games are going to set the tempo going into the Olympic break.
Well come back and be ready for the second half of the season. Seimone Augustus
Minnesota plays Tulsa twice before the break, facing them in Oklahoma on July 10 and then returning for a Target Center rematch on July 12. Afterwards, the WNBA will pause for more than a month before returning to the court Aug. 17 against Washington.
For more news and notes on the team follow the Minnesota Lynx on Twitter.