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Sun 96, Lynx 79: Struggling to the Finish

Another road loss drops the Lynx to 17-16, with one regular season game left.

WNBA Finals - Game Four Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

The Lynx fell apart in the second half tonight in Connecticut against the Sun, ultimately falling 96-79 after leading by three at halftime. It’s the Lynx third loss in a row, and sixth in their eight games since the All-Star break. It dropped them to 17-16 with one game left in the regular season, at home against the Mystics.

The Sun were led by forwards Alyssa Thomas and Jonquel Jones who combined for 44 points and shot 16-21. The Sun move to 20-13 and look like the are going to finish in the fourth spot. That will give them a bye to the second round of the playoffs, where they would host one of the first round winners in a single elimination game.

The Lynx defense provided very little resistance to the Sun, who shot 55% from the field, made eight threes, and went to the line 23 times. They got more or less whatever they wanted, especially in a second half in which they hung 53 points on the Lynx.

The Lynx were led by Sylvia Fowles, who scored 25, but nobody else really stepped up. Maya Moore, who is in the midst of arguably her worst season as a professional, scored 12 on 5-13 from the floor, and was not a major factor, something we’ve seen far too often this season. Rebekkah Brunson missed another game tonight, and they certainly missed her defensive tenacity and rebounding, but the Sun were just quicker than the Lynx.

The loss solidifies the Lynx in the seventh spot, which means a road playoff game in the first round. Right now, it’s looking like that game will be in Phoenix against the Mercury or in Los Angeles against the Sparks. A win in that game would lead to another single-elimination game on the road, so it’s seeming more and more likely that Sunday will be the last home game of the year for the Lynx, and the last of Lindsay Whalen’s career.

Whalen, who started her WNBA career with the Sun, got a tremendous reception tonight, and tweeted after the game:

It’s looking more and more like this is the end of the greatest run in Minnesota pro sports history. A salute to Whalen and all the other Lynx who have made it possible. Hopefully, if they are going to go down, they go down with the ferocity they have won with over the past seven seasons.