As expected the Washington Mystics responded. Tonight’s game was a back-and-forth playoff near-classic, with the teams trading runs and big shots.
But it was the Lynx who finished it, finishing the game on a 20-8 run with Maya Moore and Lindsay Whalen leading the way down the stretch.
Whalen only scored nine points. But man was she effective. When she checked into the game with 4:45 left in the fourth, the Lynx were down two. Minnesota steamrolled Washington the rest of the way.
Whelan and Maya Moore were the fourth-quarter heroes tonight, combining for 18 of the team's 24 points. But it was Whalen who really got the crowd going, exhorting the fans, driving to the hoop, forcing the issue. It was vintage Whalen, and it was fun to see in The Barn.
Now the Lynx are up 2-0 in the best-of-five series. Game three is Sunday in Washington D.C.
Here are some final observations on the game:
--On the day she was named league MVP, center Sylvia Fowles matched her career playoff high with 12 field goals made – with just 16 attempts –and scored 25 points with nine rebounds and four blocks.
--Maya Moore saved the best for last, scoring 11 of her 22 points in the fourth quarter on 3-for-6 shooting.
--An unsung hero tonight was Rebekkah Brunson. All she’s asked to do is defend Elena Delle Donne all over the court. And she also managed to score 11 points with 10 rebounds tonight. She also had three assists. Just a wonderful game. Some of her rebounds in traffic were amazing.
--For the second straight game in this series the Lynx shot better than 50 percent.
--Sunday’s game will be at 2 p.m. Central time and will be carried on ESPN.