Roman Augustoviz spends Minnesota's winters covering college hockey, specifically the Gophers, and other University of Minnesota sports. During the summer, he writes about the WNBA's Minnesota Lynx, with a dose of U sports sprinkled in. Follow him on Twitter @RomanStrib.

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Three keys for Lynx to win tonight

Posted by: Roman Augustoviz under Lynx Updated: October 7, 2011 - 5:16 PM

The Lynx are approaching this game as if they were down 0-2 in the WNBA Finals. They have to. That's the only way they will match Atlanta's urgency.

The Dream are 0-5 in the Finals. Seattle swept them 3-0 last season and the Lynx are on the verge of doing so again. And the Lynx have gone up 2-0 despite not playing their best. They were down by as many as 12 points in the opening half in Game 1 and trailed 58-50 at halftime in Game 2.

Here are the three keys to the Lynx winning on Friday and sending the Dream home again, figuratively. Literally, they are home already. Game 3 is at Philips Arena.

1. Keep the starters on the court: Rookie Maya Moore played only 15-plus minutes. Foul trouble was her issue. Taj McWilliams-Franklin played 25-plus minutes, but missed most of the second half after spraining her right knee. The Lynx need that combination of youthful spunk and veteran savvy on the court as much as possible.

2. Put a lasso around Angel McCoughtry: She scored 33 points in the first game, 38 in the second. If that progression continues she would score 43 tonight. That would break her playoffs single-game record of 42 she set against New York in the Eastern Conference Finals a year ago. So it's possible she could get in the 40s. But it will be a lot easier for the Lynx to win if she doesn't.

Coach Cheryl Reeve wants Seimone Augustus to guard McCoughtry most of the time. And Augustus said she is willing to do so and score on the offensive end as well. She had 36 points in Game 2.

3. Guard an outside shooter: McWilliams-Franklin said the Lynx were so worried about McCoughtry, Iziane Castro Marques and company driving to the basket, they were't being aggressive on the perimeter. So the Dream -- the league's worst three-point shooting team -- shot 40 percent from behind the arc (six for 15).

The Lynx seemed to have forgotten all about threes. They attempted only seven threes and made three. Only Moore took more than one, she was one for two on threes.  

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