Exactly a week after taking a 21 point beatdown from the Lynx, Chicago came to Minnesota and got their revenge. Rookie Diamond DeShields and her veteran point guard Courtney Vandersloot diced up the sluggish Lynx defense all night. The game was a back and forth affair with 18 lead changes. Maya Moore was brilliant for Minnesota scoring 21 points on 13 shots. She hit five threes, grabbed five rebounds and dished out three assists but also fouled out of the game with a few minutes remaining in the fourth and missed crunch time.
This latest loss is a big one. With the playoffs starting on Tuesday, Minnesota needs to use these final games to improve their seed as well as build some momentum heading into the postseason. The Sky were the weakest team remaining on Minnesota’s schedule. Their next two games are against other playoff teams with similar goals as the Lynx.
This was something of a sloppy game. The two teams combined for 31 turnovers. Minnesota had 17 of them and Chicago cashed them in for 22 points. Two back-breaking mistakes occurred in the game’s final 75 seconds. Minnesota, leading by one, got a stop with 1:15 remaining in the game. Seimone Augustus throws a cross court pass to at the feet of Tanisha Wright which sails out of bounds. Turnover.
The Sky immediately took advantage as Allie Quigley spun through the paint for two points. Then with Chicago leading by one. The Lynx called timeout to setup a play with 20 seconds left on the clock. That play was thwarted by the Sky as defenders helped and recovered expertly. A post entry pass to Sylvia Fowles was tipped away with recovered by Chicago with five seconds remaining, sealing the Sky victory.
Throughout this season the Lynx defense has been much better than their offense. Fowles, Rebekkah Brunson and Moore probably make up the league’s best defensive front court and their veteran role players make up a whole that is better than the sum of its parts. The Lynx offense has dropped significantly from the flowing, paint dominant version that led the league in 2017.
Those trends flipped on Tuesday night as both teams racked up the points. The Lynx had multiple players shoot the ball really well. They hit ten threes and won the second chance points battle 22-6 by grabbing 12 offensive rebounds. Unfortunately Chicago’s offense was even better and Minnesota did little to impede it. The Sky shot 55% from the field and did not face much adversity on the offensive end.
Bright Like A Diamond
2018 number three overall draft pick Diamond DeShields was a problem for the Lynx. Her quickness and athleticism were on display. She’s so good at moving without the ball and cutting to the rim in clever ways. She beat multiple Lynx defenders off the dribble over the course of the game. Finally DeShields can also use that sticky handle to create space for her pull-up jump shot. Talk about the total package. After the game Cheryl Reeve summed it up well.
“Diamond DeShields kicked our butts. She’s a hell of an athlete. Diamond just destroyed Maya Moore.”
Reeve also stressed that the season is winding down and the team is running out of time to put it all together. The Minnesota Lynx are usually rounding into championship shape right about now. That is not the case this season. The team is on track to go on the road to open the single-elimination first round of the playoffs. They have less than a week to figure out what kind of team they’ll be once they get there.
Rebekkah Brunson missed her fourth straight game since being concussed by a Tiffany Hayes elbow on August 5th.
Sylvia Fowles became just the sixth player to grab 3,000 rebounds in the WNBA.
The newest Lynx signing Sydney Colson played five minutes and gave the team a nice spark off the bench. She’s quick and is a solid, active defender.
Sky point guard Courtney Vandersloot had her typical wonderful game with 16 points and 10 assists. Mid way through the fourth quarter she set the WNBA single season assist record after she notched her 237 dime of the year.
The Lynx travel to Connecticut to play their final away game of the regular season. Tip off is at 6pm CT. You can watch on WNBA League Pass or listen on BOB 106 FM.