Three takeaways: Minnesota Lynx rout Washington Mystics, Whalen makes history

ST PAUL, MN - MAY 14: Rebekkah Brunson
ST PAUL, MN - MAY 14: Rebekkah Brunson /

WASHINGTON, D.C.–The Washington Mystics came crashing down to reality after a five-game winning streak on Friday night, falling 98-73 to the now 8-0 Minnesota Lynx.

Elena Delle Donne missed the game with a groin strain she aggravated in practice this week, and with her on the sidelines and Emma Meesseman still in Belgium with the national team, the Mystics really didn’t have a shot.

The Lynx were simply unrelenting. Sylvia Fowles led the way with 21 points, but five players in total were in double figures. The team only had one turnover in the first half, and only eight in the game, leading to just two points from the Mystics.

The Mystics, meanwhile, had 18 turnovers resulting in 26 points for the Lynx, and only two players in double figures. The Lynx also out-assisted the Mystics 30-10. With numbers like that, it didn’t matter that Washington managed to come out even in the rebounding department, 33-33.

Here’s what we learned from a rout in the Beltway.

The Lynx are a Super Team

I know the NBA has taken all of the fun out of the Super Team discussion, but I don’t know what else to call the Minnesota Lynx. Picking out any single stand-out player is impossible at this point; they all make an indelible impression.

Rebekkah Brunson stole the show early, with 17 points in the first half alone. She simply bowled over the Mystics players inside, and left them reeling from beyond the arch as well. She was 6-12 from the field, even without scoring in the second half.

Sylvia Fowles notched her fifth double-double of the season, shooting a remarkable10-15 for 21 points and 11 rebounds.

Then there was five-time All-Star Maya Moore, who had her best shooting day of the season, going 6-for-8 for a total of 17 points, and adding six assists and three rebounds for good measure. Seimone Augustus added a cool 14, while Renee Montgonery had 13.

This team has no weaknesses. It has movement and speed, physicality inside and touch outside. At this point, it’s hard to see how any WNBA team topples them.

NEW YORK, NY – MARY 18: Lindsay Whalen
NEW YORK, NY – MARY 18: Lindsay Whalen /

Lindsay Whalen becomes winningest player in WNBA history

Whalen had a rather unremarkable night by her lofty standards, scoring only two points, two rebounds, and six assists. But she still set history in the process.

Whalen entered the game with 294 wins, one behind Swin Cash for the most in WNBA history. Now, she holds that mantle alone.

This is Whalen’s 13th WNBA season, and she’s been to seven WNBA finals –two with the Connecticut Sun, and five with the Lynx. She’s 35 years old and according to her teammates, hates to lose now more than ever. She’s hungry, healthy, and surrounded by an absurd amount of talent.

Whalen isn’t anywhere close to done; history is hers for quite some time.

Tayler Hill can’t do it alone

Hill led the way for the Mystics, scoring 20 points. She was 7-for-13 from the field, 3-for-6 from the three-point range, and 3-for-3 from the line. But she didn’t get much help from her teammates, with the exception of Ivory Latta, who was 5-for-5 from the field with 15 points.

but Tierra Ruffin-Pratt only contributed two points and three rebounds; Krystal Thomas was destroyed inside by Brunson and Fowles, and only managed four points and six rebounds; and Kristi Toliver was a disappointing 3-for-9 from the field for only seven points.

Look, there’s no doubt that a healthy Delle-Donne and an in-North-America Meesseman makes this a whole different ballgame. But if the Mystics want to go deep in the playoffs, and possibly knock of the Lynx when it really matters, their role players are going to have to step up.