The Lynx are headed to the playoffs!
With a hard-fought, gritty victory over the Chicago Sky, Minnesota punched their ticket to the postseason for the ninth-consecutive year.
There’s been a lot of talk in the last few weeks about Napheesa Collier, and rightly so, but Tuesday night was all about Sylvia Fowles. She scored a season-high 25 points on 57.9-percent shooting in just 25 minutes, pacing the Lynx to victory and willing them into the playoffs. It was clear from the opening tip that Fowles was not going home without a victory. If she had avoided foul trouble you get the sense she would have gone for 40 if necessary.
Additionally, Fowles’ 12 rebounds moved her into third all-time in WNBA rebounding, passing Lisa Leslie. Tamika Catchings is up next and Fowles needs just 10 to catch her. Fittingly, the all-time leading rebounder in WNBA history, Rebekkah Brunson, was in the stands tonight watching her old teammate.
In addition to Fowles, Odyssey Sims and Collier were excellent yet again. Sims scored 23 and added eight assists in an extremely efficient night while Collier finished with 19 and added seven rebounds, four assists, two steals and two blocks. Damiris Dantas also scored 17 and was three-for-six from three. Her 10 rebounds helped her earn the second double-double of her career.
The highlight of the night was a chase-down block by Collier on her best friend Katie Lou Samuelson halfway through the fourth quarter. That block got the crowd going before a Sims three lit them on fire. A forced shot-clock violation on the play after that and the Lynx were off to the races, never looking back as a wild Target Center cheered them on to the final buzzer.
In a strange turn of events, the Lynx’s typically solid bench had an off night, failing to score a single point. That only accentuated what the starters were able to do, though. That unit looks unstoppable right now.
The Lynx’s defense has also turned things around. While the Sky still managed to put up 85 points, Minnesota made Chicago work for every single bucket. Danielle Robinson put on a show on the defensive end—her and Sims held Chicago’s potent backcourt to just 16 combined points.
With a win tonight, the Lynx completed a statement homestand. They have won three games in a row, two of those over teams above them in the standings. The starting unit is on fire and the offense looks extremely potent. Players have zeroed in on their roles and everyone knows what their job is. Nobody will be looking forward to facing the Lynx when the playoffs begin.