After her team's first loss, Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve made a curious comment early this week.
"More than anything, whether it is a win or a loss, I am now really, really focused on, not that we won the game, but how are we playing," she said.
"Are we playing with the sense of urgency that we have to play with? We have eight games until the Olympic break, and we want to take it to another level. ... If we do that, we should be able to have fun at the Target Center like we usually do."
On Thursday, the Lynx had a lot of fun on their home court. They demolished the New York Liberty 102-70 even after another slow start.
They trailed 22-17 after the first quarter and got down by as many as 11 points.
This time a flat start didn't matter. They won their 12th game at home in a row, counting last year's playoffs, and have two more coming up on this homestand.
"In Seattle [where the Lynx had a season-low 10 points in the opening quarter], we just didn’t have the sense of urgency right out of the gate to match a team’s intensity," Reeve said. "It took us a while to punch back."
Against the Liberty, the Lynx started punching in the second quarter. Took a 45-42 lead at halftime. Outscored NY 35-21 in the third quarter and 22-7 in the fourth.
The Lynx held Seattle to just eight points in the fourth quarter but got down too much and couldn't muster enough offense.
Against the Liberty, the Lynx could. Five players scored in double figures: Seimone Augustus had 26 points, Devereaux Peters 18, Taj McWilliams-Franklin 15, Maya Moore 12 and Candice Wiggins 10.
"It is a big game," Reeve said, referring to the Lynx's nationally televised game with Chicago on Saturday. "Any time we play on national TV, we want to make sure we are representing, we are putting on a show. That is our mindset."
ESPN, the sports network's top channel, will carry the game. The Sky (7-2) are one-half game behind Connecticut (9-3) in the East standings but are in first place with a better winning percentage.
"Everybody has a chance to see us and Chicago is a team that has had a lot of success to this point," Reeve said. "They do a nice job defending, they keep an opponent’s field goal percentage down, they rebound the heck out of the ball.
"They will be without Epiphanny Prince [fractured right foot, she was league's second-leading scorer]. which obviously hurts their offense because she was playing really, really well. But they have able bodies which will come in."
Reeve assessing her team: "It’s a group that they like each other, they respect each other, and so the reaction is that they are there for each other. They pick each other up and they want to be better the next time they play."