One of the most entertaining series in the WNBA this season has to be Phoenix vs. the Lynx.
Both teams like to run and can score the basketball. Personally, I hate that expression, "score the ball" or any variation. But it's being used a lot and I want to stay hip.
In two games so far, Phoenix won 112-105 on July 13 at Target Center, rallying from an 11-point deficit with under 7 minutes left.
In the rematch in the desert, the Lynx prevailed 106-98. After blowing an 11-point lead at home, they led 93-82 with 6:23 in Phoenix. That was the same margin, at almost the same time of the game. This time Minnesote held on.
The Mercury broadcasters raved about the matchup and, on that, they were right. I watched the game on wnba.com's live access, not FSN.
Phoenix is averaging a league-high 92.7 points, 105 against the Lynx.
Minnesota is second in scoring in the WNBA, averaging 83.6 points, 105.5 against the Mercury. ... So combined, they 5.3 points per minute.
The Lynx are 10-4, alone in first, Phoenix is 10-5 in second and San Antonio-- after a 73-55 loss at Seattle on Thursday -- is 9-5 in third. So the top three teams are separated by one game in the Western Conference standings.
Phoenix and the Lynx play three more times: Aug. 2 at Target Center, and Aug. 9 and Sept. 11 in Phoenix. That last game is the Lynx's last in regular-season play.
In the win on the road over the Lynx, the Mercury shot 14x27 on three-pointers. That's hard to overcome. They stayed hot from behind the arc in the first half of their second in Phoenix, swishing 7 of 11 in the first half. But ther Mercury was only 3 of 12 in the second half. Huge difference between halves.
Seimone Augustus, meantime was unconscious for the Lynx. She was 9 of 11 from the field when the Lynx led 66-57 in the third quarter. She finished 11 of 15 and had a season-high 25 points.
The Lunx had a 13-7 advantage in fast break points, a 41-38 edge in rebounds and committed only 11 turnovers to the Mercury's 17. The Lynx scored 28 points off Phoenix's bad passes, travels, etc.
Augustus' last basket made it 97-84 Lynx. She didn't need to do anymore.
During the second half, after Diana Taurasi went to the floor after a shot, the two announcers complained she does not get enough respect from officials. They don't call enough fouls on opponents guarding her. Taurasi was 12 of 14 from the foul line against the Lynx.
It's a little hard to judge on TV, but it seems as if Taurasi falls to the floor every time someone breathes on her. Minimal contact brings her down. Not saying she is diving all the time, just some of the time.