Ten days ago the Lynx had only eight active players in their loss to Dallas. Karima Christmas-Kelly had been ruled-out for the year as she required another knee surgery and Damiris Dantas was put on the shelf for a few weeks with a calf strain. Things looked bleak as the team stared down a tough schedule that would take them into the all-star break. Injury replacement players Asia Taylor and Kenisha Bell were signed and the the team has flourished, rattling off three wins a row.
Their latest on the road in Chicago started off really well. The Lynx defense blitzed the Sky in the first half forcing them into an endless stream of turnovers. Eight first quarter giveaways propelled the Lynx fast break game. Minnesota’s intensity and length bothered Chicago. Deflections and steals led to run-outs and layups. Recent Lynx addition Taylor was fantastic as she broke out for a career high 13 points. Diamond DeShields was one of the few Sky players who put the ball in the hoop in the first half. The paint was sealed off and Chicago’s long shots were not falling.
Things changed in the second half. Minnesota’s defense seemed to run out of steam as this game wore on. Chicago was snatching offensive rebounds and also finding their shot from long range. Allie Quigley particularly turned things up later in the game as she hit six threes on her way to 24 points, 17 of them coming in the second half. The Sky simply cleaned things up as well, limiting their turnovers and thus the Lynx transition effort. Minnesota let go of the rope at the end of the third quarter and saw the Sky go on a 14-2 run to close the quarter. The fourth quarter was a high-pressure affair. Neither team led by more than four points in the frame as the pendulum continued to swing back and forth. Odyssey Sims once again led the Lynx offensively with a team high 16 points. She also calmly hit the game winner with six seconds remaining, allowing her team to continue their streak of victories.
Taylor Made Shots
The newest Lynx was one of their most important players in this game. Taylor was absolutely sensational scoring a career high 13 points on seven shots. She was solid in her 17 minutes of action on both ends of the floor and even had her own 6-0 run halfway through the second quarter as she used her athleticism to her advantage getting into the paint for shots. Taylor also put her imprint on the game on the defensive end. She’s got an understanding of the Lynx defensive scheme and crazy long arms to boot. Switchable and energetic, Minnesota benefitted from her ability to bother guards and forwards alike. Over the course of a season, performances like the one put forth by Taylor are critical.
Danielle Robinson had her first career points/rebounds double-double with a career high 10 boards in this one. D-Rob continues to be so solid for the Lynx.
Diamond DeShields is one of the finest prospects in the league. The future is bright for her. The present however is partly cloudy. She’s yet to figure out how to be offensively efficient on a consistent basis. DeShields was yanked from this game multiple times in favor of Kahleah Copper due to poor shot selection and defensive miscues.
Minnesota will attempt to go 3-0 on their road trip when they face off against the Dream in Atlanta on Friday night. Tip off is at 6:30pm CT.
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