Web Editorial Associate
The Minnesota Lynx improved to a WNBA-leading 23-6 overall with a 105-69 win over the Phoenix Mercury on Tuesday night at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.
Here are our three observations from the victory:
Bench Played Big Role In Win
Minnesota’s bench, which has become somewhat thin recently due to injuries to Lindsay Whalen (left hand) and Rebekkah Brunson (left ankle), stepped up big once again in Tuesday’s win over Phoenix.
The bench combined for 45 total points in the game, outscoring the Mercury bench 45-27.
Jia Perkins led the way for the bench with 18 points and three rebounds. Natasha Howard had a near double-double of 12 points and eight rebounds, Alexis Jones tallied a career-high 11 points and Temi Fagbenle had four points, three rebounds and two blocks.
Along with the bench, Maya Moore had 21 points to lead all Lynx scorers. Sylvia Fowles had 14 points, 10 rebounds and two blocks, Plenette Pierson had nine points and both Seimone Augustus and Renee Montgomery had eight points each.
Raining Threes In St. Paul
Can it actually rain threes? I don’t know, I’m not a meteorologist. After seeing all the eclipse stuff the other day, I’m not really sure what could happen anymore.
On Tuesday night, the threes were certainly falling for Minnesota. The Lynx drained a season-high 12 threes in the game, which is the highest total since making 11 against Washington on June 9.
The 12 threes Minnesota made was the most since the three-point line was moved in 2013 and the sixth-most in franchise history.
Perkins led with a game-high four threes, while Jones added three and Moore finished with two.
The Lynx shot 54.2 percent from the field in the game, which is the 11th time this season they have shot 50 percent or better. The Lynx are now 74-3 since the start of 2011 when shooting better than 50 percent.
Inching Closer To Homecourt Advantage
With the win Tuesday night, the Lynx continue to inch closer to clinching homecourt advantage in the semifinal round of the WNBA Playoffs.
Entering Wednesday, Minnesota’s magic number to clinching homecourt advantage in the semifinals is down to one. The Lynx (23-6) hold a 1.5-game lead over Los Angeles (22-8) for first place in the WNBA and a four-game lead over Connecticut (19-10), which is in third place.
If the Lynx beat the San Antonio Stars on Friday, they will clinch homecourt advantage in the semifinals. Or, if the Sun lose to Chicago on Wednesday night, Minnesota will also clinch.
In addition, the Lynx can secure the No. 1 overall seed in the playoffs by winning their next two games (Friday at San Antonio and Sunday at Los Angeles), or they can secure the top seed by winning four of their final five games.
Minnesota hits the road for a three-game road trip starting with a matchup against San Antonio at 7 p.m. Friday night in San Antonio. The game will be streamed on Twitter and aired on 106.1 BOB FM and TuneIn Radio.