Web Editorial Associate
The Minnesota Lynx struggled in the first half of Sunday’s game against the Phoenix Mercury in St. Paul.
The Lynx shot 34.5 percent from the field and trailed 42-38 going into halftime.
The second half, however, was a completely different story.
Minnesota used a stellar third quarter to come back and beat Phoenix 81-66 on Sunday at Xcel Energy Center.
“We always want to come out of the locker room with a sense of urgency. Today, it was just going in there down four. We were not satisfied with not only being down four, but just the way we got down four in the second quarter, especially with our defense not dictating enough,” Maya Moore said after the game. “Whenever we can dictate and have the collective everyone on the same page, we usually get on those rolls that you saw in the third.”
The Lynx opened up the second half about as well as they could have hoped. In the third quarter alone, Minnesota outscored Phoenix 29-11 in the third quarter and went on an 18-0 run towards the end of the third to jump out to a large lead.
The Lynx went on to outscore the Mercury 14-13 in the fourth quarter to run away with the victory.
“The third quarter we were pretty good and got the flow that we wanted in the game. Our defense had to improve. It was one of those things where we probably over-coached. We were playing a team for the second time and wanted to make a few changes,” Lynx head coach Cheryl Reeve said. “We cleaned it up at halftime and got back to some of the things that were more effective in the pick-and-roll coverage’s. We played off of our defense, got some good flow and got great production off the bench.”
Sylvia Fowles led the way for the Lynx, finishing with 18 points and five rebounds. Jia Perkins had a season-high 13 points, Rebekkah Brunson had 11 points and four rebounds, Renee Montgomery and Plenette Pierson had 10 points each and Maya Moore finished with nine points and nine rebounds.
Yvonne Turner finished with 18 points off the bench to lead Phoenix. Monique Currie had 13 points and four rebounds, Danielle Robinson had 10 points and six rebounds and Angel Robinson tallied eight points and six rebounds for the Mercury.
“This is a good team. I think (Mercury head coach Sandy Brondello) does a great job. When you defend, you have a chance to win games,” Reeve said. “Insert Taurasi when she’s done resting and I think that you have a chance. They can hold the fort down until she gets back. This is a good team, they are in third or fourth place for a reason.”
With the win, Minnesota improves to a WNBA-leading 15-2 overall. Phoenix falls to 11-8 on the season with the loss.
Highlight Of The Game
The Highlight of the Game was the second half for the Lynx.
After trailing 42-38 in the first half, Minnesota outscored Phoenix 43-24 in the second half to run away with the win.
The Numbers Game
- The game was tied a total of 12 times and there were nine lead changes.
- Minnesota’s largest lead of the game was 20 points, while Phoenix led by as much as six.
- The Lynx finished shooting 41.9 percent from the field in the game. The Mercury shot 40 percent from the field.
Player Of The Game
Sunday night’s Lynx Player of the Game goes to Sylvia Fowles.
Fowles finished with a team-high 18 points on 5-of-9 shooting from the field. She also finished 8-for-9 from the free throw line.
“My mindset was the same thing as Friday. Camille Little was guarding me on Friday as well and Griner was on (Rebekkah Brunson),” Fowles said. “My mentality was the same, just go be aggressive and take my time when it was time to score. Just trying to be consistent and a force at the same time.”
The Lynx will host the Dallas Wings at noon on Wednesday at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul. The game will be aired on Fox Sports Go, WNBA League Pass and 106.1 BOB FM.