Storm use explosive 4th quarter to blow past Lynx
After a rocky performance in losses against the Phoenix Mercury and New York Liberty, the Minnesota Lynx finally looked like they were back in 2020 form in the first half of last night’s contest against the defending champion Seattle Storm.
Minnesota took a 15-point lead into halftime, largely in part to their defense holding Seattle to just 33 first half points. Much of that defensive pressure was a direct result of preventing Breanna Stewart from getting good shots. The Lynx forwards continually rotated on Stewart, and were especially proficient in preventing low block touches by fronting the former MVP and having a second defender play safety in case of over-the-top lobs.
More from News
- Bet $5 on Sparks vs. Sky, Win $150 Instantly with Limited-Time DraftKings Promo
- Cash in for Over $2,000 With WNBA Promo Bonuses from FanDuel & Caesars
- FanDuel WNBA Promo Code Gives You $2,500 Bonus for ANY Game Tonight!
- Unlock Over $4,500 Bonus With 3 Best WNBA Sportsbook Promos!
- One number that can decide the fate of each WNBA playoff team
Sylvia Fowles and Damiris Dantas got things going early on offense, combining for 18 points in the first quarter alone. But the offense became stagnant as the game weathered on, and outside of Crystal Dangerfield, there seemed to be a lack of spark for the Lynx.
After two Stewart free throws tied the game at 75 with 3:22 left in the fourth, the Storm went on a 15-3 run to close out the game, with huge backcourt contributions from Jewell Loyd (23 points), Sue Bird (20 points), and Jordin Canada (16 points).
Seattle poured in an absurd 37 points in the fourth quarter to end up winning handily despite trailing for most of the game. They improve to 2-1, with their next matchup against the Dallas Wings tomorrow.
The Lynx fall to 0-3 for the first time since 2007, but it is still too early to hit the panic button. Their best player will soon return to the lineup, and they now have a very strange week break before they once again take on the Storm on May 28, so it is safe to assume thy will go through the game tape 2 or 10 times before then.
Things to watch for in tonight’s games
There are some great storylines in play tonight, so I’m going to break down the most interesting narratives from each matchup.
Liberty at Mystics
The most intriguing aspect of this game involves a player that is no longer even on a team. The Liberty were forced to waive a player with Natasha Howard ready to start her WNBA season, and the unlucky recipient was Layshia Clarendon. They averaged 12 points and 4 assists in a very efficient bubble season, and are just four years removed from an all-star appearance. Even more impactful is their off the court contributions as an incredible leader and teammate.
This move puts a ton of pressure on the rest of New York’s backcourt to provide meaningful minutes, specifically Jazmine Jones and rookie DiDi Richards.
Dream at Fever
Someone gets to win a game! It is always nice when two winless opponents meet up early in the season, guaranteeing that someone will walk away happy for the first time all year. What I am most interested in is getting Aari McDonald more touches. The rookie guard has yet to hit a field goal in 27 minutes of play, and it is not like the Dream are in win-now mode. Letting McDonald learn the game by experiencing it will be pivotal for her development, and there is no better team to experiment against than the Fever.
Sun at Mercury
It is already the second meeting between these two squads, with the third and final contest not occurring until September, and the Mercury will be hoping it goes nothing like the first matchup. The key to the game for Phoenix will be stopping their former all-star DeWanna Bonner, who scored 27 to bury them last week. Bonner is difficult to guard due to her ball skills as a bigger player, and this is especially true for the Mercury. Brittney Griner and Brianna Turner are excellent defensive players inside, but cannot defend as well on the perimeter, whereas the Phoenix guards cannot compete with Bonner’s size. I am excited to see how Coach Brondello adjusts to this dilemma in tonight’s game.
Sparks at Aces
Last but not least we have Los Angeles up against Las Vegas. The Sparks are still trying to find an identity after a myriad of offseason changes. They were blown out in embarrassing fashion by the Dallas Wings in their home opener, and while it is only one game, it is clear the Sparks are going to be desperate for guard scoring throughout the year. The Ogwumike sisters were holding their own, but veteran Kristi Tolliver is a pass-first player, so the X-factor might be if Erica Wheeler can return to her 2019 all-star scoring form.