Web Editorial Associate
The Minnesota Lynx were able to outlast the Storm in Seattle on Sunday night as the defending WNBA Champions used their stellar defense to earn a victory, 78-71.
All five of Minnesota’s starters scored in double-figures and although the Lynx are undefeated at 3-0, the team as a whole is looking better and better as the season progresses.
“Every day, I think this group wants to take advantage of the time that we have together,” Maya Moore said after Sunday’s win. “There are several staple players that have been here for a while now, but we have a lot of new players. The other half of our team is new and haven’t been a part of a whole season with the Lynx so they’re hungry to get it right, to get it together with those of us who have been here for a while. We want to make sure we’re clicking on all cylinders.”
With the starters playing at such a high-level, Minnesota was able to spoil Seattle’s home opener and first overall pick in the 2016 WNBA Draft Breanna Stewart’s debut in front of the 9,686 fans.
“I think it was good for us to show the competitive nature that we have,” Seattle forward Alysha Clark said. “Obviously, they’re the reigning champs so you have no choice but to step up and play. I think it was a good test for us coming off the win in Phoenix to see how we were going to act. I think we fought really hard down the stretch, obviously not the outcome we wanted, but we made them work for everything and that’s something we can take and learn from for the next game.”
6: The Lynx moved to 3-0 on the season with Sunday’s win at Seattle, marking the third straight year that Minnesota has walked away with victories in their first three games, and this many times in the team’s history.
15th: Lindsay Whalen passed Sheryl Swoopes (4875) for this place on the WNBA’s all-time scoring list. Whalen finished the game with 14 points, a season-high six rebounds and three assists.
9: The Lynx’ starting five scored every point but this many in their victory over the Storm on Sunday night. Despite Minnesota only shooting 40 percent from the field, the veteran led squad buckled down defensively and put in key buckets, going 15-for-16 from the free-throw line in the game.
“Every shot is not going to go in and we’re going to have to play great defense,” Lynx forward Rebekkah Brunson said. “Now we’re at a point where we’re getting comfortable with each other defensively and we’re making it hard for other teams.”
Leader of the Pack: Maya Moore
In a game where it was pretty difficult to pick an ‘MVP,’ the 2014 WNBA Scoring Champion had a complete game, with 17 points, nine boards, four assists and two blocks.
One of Moore’s rejection made for arguably the play of the game. Nearing the end of the third quarter, the 2014 WNBA Most Valuable Player chased down rookie Breanna Stewart and swatted the ball into the stands, bringing the Lynx’ bench to their feet.
“They’re the best team in the world so for us to be able to go toe-to-toe with them, it says a lot,” Storm head coach Jenny Boucek said. “They have been a dynasty for five years. They are the cream of the crop in our league, they’ve been together a long time, they know how to win together, and they’re loaded with amazing players. Every year, for the past five years they’ve had the best defense and the best offense. That’s where we strive to get to; they’re the team that’s our measuring stick for the league.”
Quotable: Maya Moore
Today wasn’t a perfect game for us and we know that’s going to happen when you’re on the road, but we fought through it, we stayed together. That’s the main thing with us – making sure we’re communicating and staying together. We can get over a lot of humps that way.
The Lynx will travel to Phoenix to take on the 0-3 Mercury on Wednesday, May 25th at 9:00 p.m. Having already beat Diana Taurasi, Brittney Griner and the Mercury once this year in the season opener, it will be interesting to see how Phoenix responds on their home court. Be sure to check out the action on Fox Sports North or 106.1 BOB FM radio.