When we think of classic basketball games, we often think of the nail-biters, the games where the tension in the arena somehow makes its way into our living rooms. We think of the games whose fates are determined in the final milliseconds and by several slo-mo replays that reveal whether or not that final shot was a game-winner or a missed opportunity.
Blowout games rarely make the cut, and if they do, they have to be monumental.
Does a 59-point win do the trick? How about a game that includes a 37-0 run?
Fever fans may disagree, but the Lynx found a way to somehow make a game whose outcome was determined long before the final buzzer entertaining when they defeated the Fever 111-52 on Aug. 18, 2017 at the Xcel Energy Center. Sure, the game didn’t include an iconic last shot or a game-deciding steal. Instead, it was another mind-boggling reminder of how great the 2017 Lynx were.
At the time, they needed a reminder.
To clarify, the Lynx weren’t in tough shape prior to the Aug. 18 game. They were sitting at 21-5 in mid-August and had already secured a playoff spot with 13 games remaining on their regular-season schedule.
But they were coming off their first back-to-back losses of the season and were without starters Lindsay Whalen and Rebekkah Brunson who were both out with injuries, leaving skeptics to wonder if the back-to-back losses could turn into a season-spoiling losing streak.
To that, the Lynx said, “Not so soon.”
Instead of giving spectators a reason to believe their run was over, the Lynx stomped their opponents and made it clear they weren’t going anywhere as they battled for the No. 1 overall playoff seed with the Los Angeles Sparks.
All nine Lynx players who earned playing time against the Fever recorded at least six points. Syvlia Fowles led the way with a game-high 25 points, and all five starters scored in double figures, including Renee Montgomery who scored 20 points while taking over starting point guard duties for Whalen.
The Lynx shot 59.2% from the field and set several league records as they demolished their guests.
• The 59-point win was the largest in league history. The previous high was recorded on Aug. 7, 2010, when the Seattle Storm defeated the Tulsa Shock 111-65 (46-point win).
• The Lynx recorded 37 points in the first quarter, which tied the franchise record for most points in any quarter.
• The Fever failed to score for 12 minutes, 59 seconds while the Lynx’s 22-9 lead expanded to 59-9. The 37-0 run was the most consecutive points scored in a WNBA game.
• The Lynx led 68-23 at halftime, which was the largest halftime lead in league history and recorded a franchise-high 27 first-half field goals.
But what made this game great was that it wasn’t just an offensive beating. The Lynx played superb defense, too.
The Lynx held the Fever to 30.6% shooting and forced 20 turnovers. The Lynx recorded 11 total steals, while Jia Perkins and Alexis Jones recorded three apiece.
Remember when the Fever were stuck on nine points for nearly 13 minutes? Well they had more turnovers (11) than points (nine) for a portion of that Lynx run.
You’d think it’d be humanly impossible for a professional basketball team to miss 18 shots in a row, but as they’ve shown us many times, anything is possible when the Lynx are playing in front of their home fans.
Fans can relive the monstrous win on Tuesday, May 26, when Fox Sports North re-airs the game at 7 p.m. CT.