It was supposed to be a rematch of last season’s five-game WNBA Finals. We thought it might be a gritty game.
Early on, it wasn’t. At all.
The Minnesota Lynx jumped out to a 29-6 lead after the first quarter and took a 50-27 lead into halftime.
“Yeah, I don’t know. That was a very efficient first half,” Lynx point guard Lindsay Whalen said. “Not sure I’ve been on a run like that to start a game. We played the game plan really well. We came out ready to go from the beginning. Give that team a lot of credit. Coming off a road trip, we were gone for six straight days, two games on the west coast. Came back here, haven’t practiced, just played today and came out to a great start.”
Head coach Cheryl Reeve then depended on her second unit for much of the second half. In all fairness, this is a group that’s played well all season long, but to say the least, the second half wasn’t for them. The team was outscored 26-19 in the third quarter and a whopping 18-5 in the third quarter, and the Fever actually trailed by just two with 3.5 seconds left, but thanks to a free throw by Maya Moore, the Lynx were able to sneak out their fifth win of the season by a score of 74-71.
“We talked a lot at halftime about this is pro sports, having a 23-point lead doesn’t mean anything and to come out focused,” Reeve said. “Defensively we really didn’t do anything; or as good of a job as we would have hoped in the second half. Obviously the second group didn’t put the ball in the hole very much and really got us in a tough situation there at the end. Ultimately there is a ‘W’ next to this game.”
Lindsay Whalen and Seimone Augustus led the Lynx with 12 points each, while Natasha Howard contributed 11 off the bench against her former team. Moore finished with just nine points, but had a game-high eight assists and was an outrageous plus-28 in +/-.
Tiffany Mitchell led Indiana with 16 points. Erica Wheeler and Maggie Lucas, who exited the game with a nasty knee injury, finished with 13 and 12 points, respectively.
With the win, the Lynx move to 5-0 overall, and are one of two teams (Los Angeles Sparks) with a perfect record.
The Fever fall to 2-2, good for third in the East.
- The Lynx shot a scorching 13-for-18 (72.2 percent) from the field in the first quarter.
- The 23-point Lynx lead in the first quarter was the most-lopsided quarter in Indiana’s franchise history.
- Minnesota struggled from the 3-point line, shooting just 3-for-20 (15 percent) on the night.
- The Lynx had two buzzer beaters in the game. One came from Janel McCarville at the end of the first quarter, while the other came on a 3-pointer from Howard to end the first half.
Leader of the Pack: Maya Moore
Moore had only dipped under 20 points in a game once this season, so seeing her less than 10 was surprising. But Moore was efficient, shooting 4-for-8 and she did set her teammates up with eight assists. She also added two rebounds and a steal.
The Lynx will hit the road to play Tina Charles and the New York Liberty on Tuesday night at 7 p.m. The game will air on ESPN2 and BOB 106.1 FM.