Kent Youngblood writes about the Minnesota Lynx.

What will it take to win in L.A.?

Posted by: Kent Youngblood Updated: July 1, 2013 - 3:00 PM

Tuesday night’s game in Los Angeles figures to be a very intense one for the Lynx.

It will be the third game between the two teams in 12 days. Each of the first two have been blowouts, including the big Lynx victory Friday at Target Center that ended with the Sparks very frustrated. And then L.A. lost in Chicago the following night, dropping to third place in the Western Conference.

So they’ll be primed to come out hard to start the game.

Add in the fact that the Lynx have lost three straight games in Los Angeles and nine of their last 10 there. To win Tuesday will take an extreme effort.

“We can’t be passive in any way,” coach Cheryl Reeve said. “We can’t turn the ball over. We have to be ourselves.”

The Lynx were run out of the gym in the first half of a one-sided loss in L.A. June 21. The Sparks love to run, so the best way to beat them is to force them into a half-court offense, something the Lynx did a good job of Friday.

The Lynx have won two straight, with Lindsay Whalen scoring 39 points and Seimone Augustus 41 in those two games combined. But Reeve said both after Friday’s game and again Monday that she needs more from forward Rebekkah Brunson and center Janel McCarville. Brunson has struggled with her shot recently and went without a rebound in the loss in L.A. June 21. As for McCarville?

“With Janel the conversation is more that we’re almost 10 games in now, this isn’t new anymore,” Reeve said. “So now, more playing rather than finding her way and learning. We need more focus on intensity and becoming a bigger part of the starting five.”

 

In other items:

--Rookie Rachel Jarry, who injured her neck late in the Lynx victory Friday, did some things in practice Monday but nothing full-contact. She is questionable for Tuesday's game – she will likely not play – but will travel with the team.

--The first voting update for the All Star game will be released Tuesday.

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