Whalen leaves game early, Lynx get the win

ST PAUL, MN - MAY 14: Lindsay Whalen
ST PAUL, MN - MAY 14: Lindsay Whalen /

The Minnesota Lynx lost guard Lindsay Whalen in the third quarter of a 69-54 win over the Atlanta Dream.  Whalen collided with Atlanta guard Lashia Clarendon and appeared in visible pain. She was taken to the locker room and moments later it was announced she would not return.

Whalen’s injury comes at a time when the Lynx are already down a player. Seimone Augustus has missed the last two games due to personal reason, per the Lynx PR team.

Despite the loss of Whalen, the Lynx went on to shut down Atlanta in the fourth quarter. Entering the final ten minutes, the Dream had a 52-46 lead over Minnesota on the road. In the fourth, the Dream were outscored 23-2.

In Thursday’s match, Slyvia led all scorers with 25 points, while also grabbing 13 rebounds in her 12th double-double of her career. Fowles officially secured 10th place in career rebounds. She surpassed Michelle Snow (2482) and trails Indiana’s Candice Dupree (2496) by five rebounds.

The comeback win without two key players bodes well for the Lynx as they prepare for the postseason.  The Lynx have already clinched a playoff berth, and will likely have a bye for the first two rounds of the 2017 playoffs.

According to head coach Cheryl Reeve, the team is far from content, “We have not reached our goal,” said Reeve when asked about resting her players after clinching. She continued, “Just making the playoffs is not the goal. That’s what it used to be. That’s the expectation.”

Reeve asked her team to dig deep on Thursday and the team stepped up to the challenge. It is unclear whether Augustus or Whalen will return for the next game on August 6. Either way, one thing that was made clear tonight is that the Lynx will show up one way or another.