Being back in the Target Center was great. Being at my first Lynx game since game 1 of the WNBA finals brought back memories of a positive, excessively loud, and engaged crowd, invested and genuinely interested in their team's success.
Keep in mind, the upper level bleachers are not sold for these games.
These crowd habits come with winning, and the Lynx keep winning. Tonight, a 20-3 run to open the 3rd quarter helped the defending WNBA champs pull away to an easy victory, beating the San Antonio Stars by a final score of 88-72. The victory pushes the Lynx to a league-best (duh) 6-0 record.
"I thought our defense was much better tonight, probably our best defensive game of the season," Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve said. "Not that we did everything perfectly, but that was a big step up for us."
Maya Moore kept up here insane start to her season, piling in 26 points on 10-18 shooting. She was the only one in double figures at the end of the first half, and helped keep her squad afloat amidst a rough 1st half.
In that opening half, the Stars came out firing, dropping 7 three-pointers and coming out with a 39-36 lead at the half. Only 4 Lynx players had buckets in that half (Moore, Whalen, Augustus, Dantas), and their inability to close out shooters gave a hot San Antonio squad an early advantage.
The Lynx immediately got going in the second half, and all of a sudden the score was 56-42. The lead eventually eclipsed 20. It was fun to watch. People were clapping along to music during the timeouts. It was pandemonium.
Despite the 6-0 start, the Lynx have made their first 6 games interesting. Coach Cheryl Reeve didn't seem phased by it post-game.
"I just don't think about that. I think that every game is going to come right down to the wire," she said. "We prepare that way, we talk as a team about working."
The Lynx will try to keep their win streak alive on a 2-week road trip, starting on Sunday, when they'll face San Antonio for the second straight time.
A few notes:
- Damiris Dantas went down in the 2nd quarter after getting hit hard in the lane. By natural procedure, Lynx athletic trainer Chuck Barta made his way out there. For whatever reason, his presence on the floor triggered a technical foul call on the Lynx. Reeve referred to the sequence as "wrongly administered" and said that she hopes the league will review it.
- While the Lynx struggled to close out shooters, the Stars had equal (if not more) trouble stopping the Lynx inside. Minnesota outscored them 40-16 in the paint, while San Antonio scored 14/28 from deep on the night. Ultimately, Minnesota's big run was the deciding factor.