Normally when you have a No. 8 vs. No. 1 seed in the playoffs, you assume that the top seed is the “hot” team.
Sure, the Lynx won three straight games going into Wednesday night’s Game 1, but the last game came on Sept. 17, 11 days ago. That was a regular season game against the Atlanta Dream.
The Mercury had won four straight games, including two do-or-die games in the playoffs against Indiana and New York, respectively.
You could argue that Phoenix actually had the momentum going to the game. The Lynx could have fallen back on the “rusty” excuse, having not playing in a week and a half.
But they didn’t and they blew out the Mercury 113-95 at the Xcel Energy Center on Wednesday night.
The Lynx shot a scorching 63.8 percent from the field and 50 percent from the 3-point line. The players will hear about the Mercury shooting 53.8 percent from the field and scoring more than 90 points from head coach Cheryl Reeve, but that’s what makes her the best coach in the league.
Leading the Lynx was Maya Moore and her 31 points, eight rebounds, two assists and two steals. Same old, same old. Sylvia Fowles had a vintage game as well, finishing with 16 points, 10 rebounds and two blocks against Brittney Griner. Griner, the former No. 1 pick, had 16 points but had just two rebounds and Phoenix was -17 when she was on the court.
That’s probably the battle to watch throughout this series. Diana Taurasi is going to get hers because she’s that good, but Griner can be streaky.
The Lynx take a 1-0 lead in the series. Game 1 at home shouldn’t ever be labeled a must-win game, but losing Game 1 would’ve put the team in an extremely tough position.
Game 2 will be played on Friday at the Xcel Energy Center at 7 p.m. The Lynx will try to continue their momentum. The Mercury will try to gain theirs back.