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On the Lynx

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Postgame: Lynx lose a game and an opportunity

The Lynx lost out on an opportunity to close out these WNBA Finals in a six-minute stretch of the third quarter here at Bankers Field House tonight.

With center Sylvia Fowles on the bench with four fouls, the Lynx back on their heels and with Indiana gaining confidence, the Fever went on a 20-6 tear to take control of this game for good, forcing a Game 5 Wednesday night at Target Center.

Here are some thoughts on the game:

--Moore was good, again, but not great. For the Lynx to win she’ll have to be better. She made 8 of 20 shots, just two of eight three-pointers and had two of her three turnovers during that 20-6 stretch.

--Ditto for Fowles, who took herself right out of the game with fouls, some of them silly. There are times, when you’re battling foul trouble, when you have to resist the temptation to challenge every shot.

--I thought the Fever was a poised, determined bunch tonight. All the talk you hear of Tamika Catchings’ leadership is all true. It’s as if she willed this team to victory tonight. And, again, the backcourt of Briann January (13 points) and Shenise Johnson (15) was very good.

--The Lynx have to control the turnovers. They had 15 tonight, and Indiana turned them into 17 points.

--As good as Lynx backup guards Renee Montgomery and Anna Cruz were during victories in Games 1 and 2, they struggled tonight. Indiana’s full-court pressure got to them a bit, especially Cruz. They combined for just six points tonight.

That’s about all for now. I’ll get back to you Tuesday.

Depth has given Lynx coach options

If there is a silver lining to be found in the injury troubles that plagued Seimone Augustus and Lindsay Whalen at the end of the regular season it is the confidence and comfort the Lynx players – and the coaches – gained with Anna Cruz and Renee Montgomery.

Cruz, acquired in a draft day trade with New York, joined the team late, after she finished playing for Spain in international competition. Montgomery was acquired in a trade that sent Monica Wright to Seattle.

Cruz, in particular, played a good bit upon her arrival. But it wasn’t until Whalen sat out the last few games with ankle and Achilles problems that the coaches really got to see Cruz and Montgomery play together.

“When we got to be really in the trenches with both Anna and Renee we learned so much,” Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve said. “It allowed us to have the confidence in this series.’’

Of course, the small lineup of Cruz and Montgomery at guard, Augustus at the small forward, Maya Moore at the four and center Sylvia Fowles has been very good in the second half of the last two games of these WNBA finals, turning the tide in both games. Cruz and Montgomery have been able to stymie the Indiana backcourt at times, especially down the stretch in the fourth quarter.

That said, Reeve isn’t about to change her lineup. As always, Whalen and Augustus will start along with Rebekkah Brunson, Sylvia Fowles and Moore. But Reeve has absolutely no qualms about using her top guards off the bench should the situation arise. And really, it has given Reeve the depth to respond to whatever situation presents itself.

--At shootaround today, Reeve said she didn’t need to tell her team anything about the game’s importance, how prepared Indiana – which has survived four elimination games in the 2015 playoffs – will be. She did, however, remind Moore to stay out of foul trouble.

--Meanwhile, as expected, the Fever, comfortable this season with their backs against wall, are embracing yet another opportunity. The Twitter-inspired motto for the game, as told by Tamika Catchings? #onenighttolive.

“We know what we have to do as a team,” Catchings said. “Look at every game. It’s gone down to the last two or three minutes. We have to do one or two things better. Fewer turnovers down the stretch. Hitting shots. A couple defensive rotations here and there. We’re right there.’’

TV Listings

Local Schedule

  • Timberwolves vs. Toronto (preseason)

    6pm on 830-AM

  • Indiana at Lynx

    7pm on ESPN2, 106.1-FM

  • Wild at Phoenix

    9pm on FSN, 100.3-FM

  • Gophers women's hockey at Ohio State


  • Minnesota Duluth at Gophers men's hockey

    7pm on FSN, 1500-AM

  • Wild at Los Angeles

    9:30pm on FSN, 100.3-FM

  • Gophers women's hockey at Ohio State


  • Nebraska at Gophers football

    2:30pm on ESPN2, 100.3-FM

  • Minnesota United FC at Indy


  • Gophers men's hockey at Minnesota Duluth

    7pm on FSN, 1500-AM

  • Kansas City at Vikings

    12pm on Ch. 4, 100.3/1130

  • Timberwolves at Memphis (preseason)

    5pm on 830-AM

  • Wild at Anaheim

    7pm on FSN, 100.3-FM

Today's Scoreboard

  • Kansas City



    - F



  • Toronto



    - F



  • St. Louis

    Chicago Cubs


    - F



  • LA Dodgers

    NY Mets


    - F



  • Pittsburgh

    San Diego


    - F



  • Tampa Bay



    - F



  • Winnipeg

    NY Islanders


    - F



  • Columbus



    - F



  • Florida



    - F



  • Vancouver



    - F



No games for WNBA

No games for MLS