On Sunday afternoon, mere moments after receiving their championship rings, the Lynx turned the ball over on their first three possessions of the season. That game did not begin or end well for Minnesota. Wednesday night against the visiting Dallas Wings the Lynx were much better to start the game. They opened with a 13-4 run and never looked back, eventually winning 76-68.
“I knew they would respond,” Cheryl Reeve said post-game. “They were pretty disappointed. This team through the years typically responds really well to that situation. I knew they were ready to play.”
Clash of the Centers
One of this offseason’s most important acquisitions was Australian 6’8” center Liz Cambage agreeing to re-join the Dallas Wings. She was drafted by the franchise in 2011 and played for them that season as well as in 2013. This year marks her return to the league. Through three games she’s been impressive on both ends of the floor and will be fun to watch all summer. The matchup between Cambage and Fowles was highly anticipated and did not disappoint.
Round one goes to Fowles as she notched the first regular season 20/20 game in Lynx franchise history. Fowles finished with 23 points, 20 rebounds, five steals and two blocks. Cambage had 14 points, 12 rebounds, four assists, and three blocks. The 2017 MVP put on a clinic in low post positioning and footwork, carving out space in the paint and finishing efficiently. Reeve described the work of her starting center.
“It was impressive. Cambage is a physical presence,” said Reeve. “It’s hard. Syl‘s just a handful in terms of her aggression. The way that she occupies her spot and will not relinquish it. We needed that interior presence.”
After the game Cambage described the difficulty of covering Fowles and how she can pin her defender deep in the post.
“She had the seal before I was even ready.”
The Fateful Quarter
This game was decided in a second quarter that the Lynx won 25-4. Minnesota’s defense was excellent and made it difficult for Dallas to get clean looks at the basket. The Wings has twice as many turnovers (5) as made baskets (2) in the quarter. Meanwhile on the other end of the court Fowles was feasting in the paint while Maya Moore hit a three and took trips to the free throw line.
While the result was essentially decided with a 46-21 halftime lead, Dallas played much better in the second half outscoring the Lynx by 17. The Wings did a good job of saving this game from blowout status yet also somehow never threatened to take the lead.
Fowles became the first player in WNBA history to have 20+ points, 20+ rebounds and 5+ steals.
For the record Fowles’ career high for rebounds is 22 and the WNBA single game record for rebounds is 24.
Minnesota is now 29-2 in their lasts 31 games against Dallas.
The Dallas Wings logo and mascot is a pegasus. The WNBA is awesome.
Quote of the night
“I pretty much destroyed a lot of teams last year.” - Sylvia Fowles keeping it real.
Friday 5/25 in New York. The Lynx will make their first trip to the New York Liberty’s new home at a 2,800 capacity venue in Westchester County! You can watch the game on WNBA League Pass or listen at BOB 106 FM.