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Wings 94, Lynx 89: The Streak Continues

Despite a late comeback in the fourth quarter, the Minnesota Lynx fell to the Dallas Wings to extend their losing streak to five in a row to begin the year.

Minnesota Lynx v Dallas Wings Photo by Michael Gonzales/NBAE via Getty Images

The Minnesota Lynx continued their tough three-game road trip on Tuesday with a trip to Texas to battle Arike Ogunbowale, Satou Sabally, Natasha Howard and the Dallas Wings at College Park Center in Arlington.

Entering the game as one of two WNBA teams still searching for their first win on the season, the Lynx remained winless at 0-5 on the season after falling to the Wings 94-89.

Minnesota jumped out to an early lead on the road, leading by as much as 14 points in the first half before Dallas stormed back to regain a six-point lead going into halftime. In the second half, the Lynx tried to claw back late and got within three points in the final seconds, but couldn’t cross the finish line.

Revisit the game with some highlights from the first matchup of the year between Dallas and Minnesota.

A Start, A Return and An Injury

Those differences appeared in the Lynx lineup Tuesday night in comparison to Sunday’s loss to Las Vegas. For the first time this season, Tiffany Mitchell got the start at point guard while Kayla McBride returned to the starting five after missing the last two games.

Mitchell got the nod over Lindsay Allen in the starting lineup, her first start at point guard this year. Mitchell thrived in that role, posting 15 of her 17 points in the first half to spark the offense while playing in 38 of the 40 minutes. The only other player to play more than Mitchell was Jessica Shepard, who played all 40 minutes and finished with a double-double of 15 points, 10 rebounds and five assists.

“(Mitchell) provided offense and defense. We made a decision the group that we were starting wasn’t a good combination after the first few games,” Cheryl Reeve said after the game. “We felt like we were putting ourselves behind offensively in games. ... I like Tiff and we’re going to stick with her.”

McBride was upgraded from questionable to available leading up to the game while making her return to the lineup after missing time due to attending her sister’s wedding. McBride finished the game with a team-high 18 points, four rebounds and three assists, providing a spark from three in the second half for Minnesota.

“I was with my sister while she was getting married this past weekend. That was a great moment for me and my family. I’m really grateful for coach and the organization for allowing me to go and spend that time with my family,” McBride said. “I always have so much support from this group and this organization. It was great. Obviously, I would much prefer us to win and we are still building in so many ways and are not satisfied at all. As far as me, being back out there with my girls, it was definitely a great moment for me.”

Another development to keep an eye on moving forward is the status of Lynx rookie Diamond Miller, who left the game in the first half after twisting her right ankle. Miller, who was off to a strong start at the time of the injury, remained in the game after hurting her ankle and shot two free throws until she was taken out for the rest of the half and was listed as questionable for the second half. The rookie did not ultimately return to the game against Dallas.

“We’re hopeful,” Reeve said of the status of Miller. “I’m hopeful I don’t lose players out of this game as well. ... I don’t know. We have to travel back home tomorrow and get ready for a game on Thursday. Just remain hopeful.”

Wings Trio Leads the Way

Entering Tuesday’s game, all eyes were on Ogunbowale, who came into the contest leading the Wings in scoring while ranking near the top in WNBA in that category.

The Lynx quickly found out Ogunbowale wouldn’t be the only player they would have to try and keep contained offensively for Dallas, with Sabally and Howard dominating the game early and often.

Sabally and Howard both had a career-best first half to help the Wings come back and take all the momentum at home. Sabally tallied 15 of her 17 first-half points in the first quarter, with Howard answering by scoring 16 of her 20 first-half points in the second quarter.

By the end of the game, Howard finished with 25 points and seven rebounds, Sabally tallied 23 points, 11 rebounds, five assists and three steals and Ogunbowale added 21 points, five rebounds and five assists. Kelani Brown was also stellar off the Wings bench, finishing with 12 points and seven rebounds.

“Dallas is really good and really persistent in the paint and with threes, so they really get your spread out and they create trust issues with schemes,” Reeve said. “Satou was incredibly difficult. She got going unfortunately very early in the game and just kept it up. Her and Howard, their Big Three is very good. Arike was slow most of the night, but Sabally and Howard just did a lot of damage.”

Schedule Remains Tough for Lynx

With the loss, Minnesota remains one of the last teams in the league yet to record a victory on the season. Even tougher news for the Lynx is the schedule doesn’t get any easier the next few games, most of which will take place away from Target Center.

Minnesota will return home later this week but will take on a strong Connecticut team on Thursday in Minneapolis. After that, the Lynx get back on the road for a two-game road trip that begins with a stop in the nation’s capital to face Washington on Saturday and ends with a visit to the Big Apple to take on the New York Liberty on June 7.

Things haven’t started well for Minnesota, and unfortunately, that rough stretch could continue the next few games as the Lynx search for win number one.

Next Up

Minnesota returns home on Thursday for one game before getting back on the road, hosting the Connecticut Sun at Target Center. The Lynx will search for their first win of the year against a tough Sun squad they are facing for the first time this season. You can watch that game starting at 7 PM on Bally Sports North Extra or on Amazon Prime Video.