Minnesota Lynx (19-8) at Phoenix Mercury (15-11)
August 23, 2015, 5:00 p.m. (CT)
TV: FOX Sports North, NBA TV
Radio: BOB 106.1 FM
Game #28, Road Game #15
 
·        Today’s game between the Minnesota Lynx and Phoenix Mercury marks the fourth of five meetings between the two teams this season. The home team has won each of the last six meetings, with Minnesota’s most recent victory in Phoenix an 82-77 decision on July 21, 2013. Phoenix leads the season series 2-1. The Mercury will visit Target Center on Aug. 30 to close out the season set. 
 
·        The Lynx enter today’s game with a league-best 19-8 record on the season and have a 3.5-game lead over Phoenix (15-11) in the Western Conference. The Lynx’ “magic number” to secure homecourt advantage in the first round of the WNBA Playoffs is one, while the number to clinch the West’s top seed is five and eight for homecourt in the WNBA Finals.
 
·        A key stat in today’s game will be turnovers. In Minnesota’s two losses against Phoenix, it totaled 28 turnovers for 32 Mercury points, while Phoenix turned the ball over 17 times for 17 points. In the Lynx win on June 27, they had 13 turnovers for just six points to Phoenix’s 20 turnovers which the Lynx converted into 24 points. 
 
·        In three games this season, the two teams have matched up evenly across the stats sheet. Phoenix is averaging 70.0 points per game to the Lynx’ 67.7 while Minnesota is outshooting the Mercury 40.9%-38.6%. The Lynx have held the upper hand on the boards, outrebounding Phoenix 41.7 – 40.7.
 
·        Minnesota has outrebounded each of its past three road opponents (36-35 at Atlanta on Aug. 14, 39-35 at Washington and 42-29 at San Antonio on Aug. 21) and four of nine August starts overall. The Lynx are 15-3 this season when outrebounding their foe. Minnesota has won 39 consecutive games when outboarding its opponent by 10+, dating to a 78-75 home loss to Indiana on June 26, 2011. 
 
·        Minnesota tied a franchise record by going to the free-throw line only three times in the Aug. 7 loss at Phoenix (also June 11, 2006 vs. Houston). Prior to Wednesday’s game vs. Washington, the Lynx had won 17 consecutive games when getting to the line 20 or more times. The Lynx rank third in the WNBA in free-throw accuracy (83.0%) but ninth in free throw attempts (16.4 per game). Phoenix enters today’s game ranked fourth in free-throw accuracy (82.0%) and fifth in attempts (19.7 per game). In three games vs. Minnesota, Phoenix has attempted 21 more free throws (58 -37).  
 
·        Sylvia Fowles and Lindsay Whalen both notched double-doubles Friday at San Antonio, marking the 26th time in club history (fourth this season) two players have accomplished that feat in the same contest. Fowles posted 16 points and 12 rebounds for her 94th career double-double, tying her with Tamika Catchings for third place in WNBA history. Whalen’s 12-point, 10-assist effort marked her 20th career double-double and 13th of the point/assist variety. 
 
·        The Lynx have recorded nine double-digit wins this season but Friday’s 17-point spread over San Antonio was the first double-digit win in August. All nine of those wins have been by 15+ points. Additionally, Minnesota has recorded a league-leading six double-digit comebacks this season, while the Mercury have recorded four double-digit comebacks in 2015. 
 
·        Mercury center Brittney Griner enters today’s game leading the league in blocks, averaging 4.3 per game. Phoenix leads the league in that category, blocking 7.1 per game. Griner averages more blocks per game than seven WNBA teams. The Lynx rank fifth in blocks with 4.6 per game. 
 
·        Today’s game is the Lynx’ fifth and final afternoon start of the season. They’re 1-3 this season in matinee outings after going 7-2 last season.