Seimone Augustus, who had 19 points at the time, was injured with 3 minutes, 30 seconds left in the third quarter Sunday.
She left the game and didn't come back. So somebody had to step up.
Turns out it was point guard Lindsay Whalen.
Whalen made two baskets in the last 43 seconds of the third quarter and then was three for four from the field in the fourth quarter for six more points. She finished with 13 points, 10 after Augustus left the game.
"I thought Lindsay struggled prior to that," Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve said. "So the timing was good for her to find her footing in the game. I thought Monnie (Monica Wright) played great. It never feels good to have someone like Seimone out of the game when the game is still in the balance, but ... Whalen understood it was her time to pick things up a little bit."
Besides her points, Whalen had five assists, four rebounds and three steals. In the fourth quarter, her numbers were three for four from the field, two steals, one rebound and one assist.
Rebekkah Brunson and Candice Wiggins had five points apiece in the final quarter.
Wright was the Lynx's second leading scorer. She was six for nine from the field, three of five on free throws for 15 points as a reserve. She also had five rebounds, five assists and two steals in 22:27.
SHOULD FANS BE WARNED?
It looks like everything will turn out all right for Augustus, that no ribs were broken. But it could have been disastrous. A broken rib could have put her out for who knows how long.
Which got me to thinking. Does anyone tell the people who buy courtside seats that a player could crash into them? And what they should do if that happens?
It happened so quickly,but I believe somebody was sitting in the chair Augustus crashed into and moved. If that person catches her, she probably isn't as shaken up as she was.
Will check into this more later this week. Don't think there is anyone I call at 11:30, although Whalen might still be up. Just watched her around 11 a.m. with Joe Schmidt on Ch. 5, the same station on which the Lynx-Mercury was televised.
Whalen and other Lynx have to be at Target Center at 5 a.m. Monday for bus ride to airport to New York City. Oh my.
Reeve on her her players: "They handled a lot of distractions. We didn't play poorly, but we still have a long way to go."
Whalen on pregame rings and banner unveiling ceremony: "It's great. From watching Timberwolves growing up, to now have something that we all contributed to up at the Target Center, it's a great feeling. We have the Western Conference banner and the championship banner [hanging from the rafters]."
Augustus on her feeling during ceremony: "A lot of excitement. You can tell that our fans have been waiting, probably counting the months until our return. It was fun to experience that with them. At the same time, once the banner went down and the lights went back on and we started to warm up for the game, it's about 2012 and what we're trying to do now."
Maya Moore on work and fun: "When it's time to go to work, I'm fully focused. I go hard at whatever it is. If it's having fun and enjoying and celebrating with our fans, or if it's playing the season opener when that whistle blows. I mean, have you seen the rings? You'd be smiling, too."
* Next two Lynx games this week are not on TV. Lynx play at New York on Tuesday and are back home to face LA Sparks on Thursday.
* Bench players 46 and 51 points in the Lynx's two exhibition games. So what, you say, that was preseason. But the reserves had 40 points on Sunday and even more impressive was their shooting percentage. They went 16 for 23 for 69.6 percent. Seriously. Devereaux Peters was the worst shooter, one for two for 50 percent.
* One of the few changes on the administrative side for the Lynx is the addition of Paige Jackson. She is the team's first-year basketball operations and video coordinator. She handles travel, scheduling practices home and away, and uniform and equipment matters. She is from Carson City, Mich., and graduated from Central Michigan with a sports management degree.