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Reeve needs improvement from Lynx in Friday's rematch with Sun

Because of a change in flight time, the Lynx weren’t able to practice Thursday before heading to Connecticut for Friday’s against the Sun. Because the team got Wednesday off after beating the Sun by two points Tuesday, that means the team won’t have practiced before tomorrow’s rematch.

The fact that the foe, the Sun, is familiar is good.

But coach Cheryl Reeve would have liked the ability to work on some of the problems that have plagued the Lynx despite the team’s start. At 4-0 the Lynx are the only undefeated team in the WNBA.

The Lynx beat the Sun Tuesday thanks to a 26-8 run that started mid-way through the third quarter and ended early in the fourth with the Lynx leading.

In the other 33-plus minutes of the game? The Lynx had trouble getting good shots, had big trouble taking care of the ball and were out-scored by 16 points.

After the film review, here’s what stood out for Reeve:

--Spacing. “Our spacing wasn’t great,’’ Reeve said. “Our decision-making wasn’t great. It was a matter of just not making simple plays. That’s one thing we enjoyed in New York, making simple plays.’’

The Lynx tried to force things vs. Connecticut, especially out of the pick and roll. The result: A season-high 22 turnovers, which were turned into 31 points by the Sun, which had a chance to win or tie the game at the end.

The Lynx still have the best net rating in the league. But they are the league’s second most turnover-prone team in the early going; Minnesota has 40 turnovers the last two games.

--The need to manage her rotations better. Reeve talked after Tuesday’s win about the fatigue she saw on the part of some of her players. Maya Moore, Seimone Augustus and Lindsay Whalen took the winter off. That will be good for the long run, but it appears Moore and Whalen are still working to get their game legs. Moore is shooting 31.8 percent and scoring 15.0 points per game. So far the Lynx have been carried by center Sylvia Fowles, who is scoring 21.5 points per game and shooting 59.6 percent, and Augustus.

Reeve said the team’s schedule will help with that. When the team comes home to play San Antonio Sunday, it will be Minnesota’s fifth game in 11 games. The best way to get into game shape is to play games. While that happens, Reeve will work hard to keep players fresh.

--Meanwhile, Reeve is confident Moore’s shooting touch will return sooner than later. She likes the shots Moore is getting for the most part, especially on three-pointers. “She’s definitely close.’’

One final note:  The WNBA announced a new method by which All-Star Game starters will be chosen. In the past it was solely based on fan voting. Under the new system the fans will account for 50 percent of the vote. Current players and coaches and a panel of basketball media will account for 25 percent each.

Fan voting  starts June 13. The All-Star Game will be played in Seattle July 22.

Lynx still perfect but their play needs improvement

The good news is the Lynx are the WNBA’s first 4-0 team after beating the Connecticut Sun 80-78 Tuesday night.

But the way they did it wasn’t quite as good. Except for a stretch of just under 7 minutes from the middle of the third quarter into the fourth, the Lynx were out-played, out-scored, out hustled.

The biggest issue was turnovers. The Lynx committed 22 of them, a season high. It was the second time this season they’ve had 20 or more. And the Sun, winless at 0-3, turned those 22 turnovers into 31 points. The Lynx allowed 31 points off turnovers and another 30 on three-pointers.

But still managed to win.

So, afterward, coach Cheryl Reeve was happy to have won. But she was also aware the team needed to play much better to keep doing so.

Here are some post-game notes:

--Minnesota is now 21-0 in the month of May dating back to the 2012 season. They were 5-0 in 2012, 6-0 in 2014 and 2016 and 4-0 this May.

--Two big reasons the Lynx won tonight? Center Sylvia Fowles and Seimone Augustus. Fowles has come out of the gate strong. Named the Western Conference player of the week on Monday, she had 21 points, 13 rebounds, five blocks and four assists tonight. Augustus had 16 points. Nine came in the third quarter, seven of them in a 12-0 run that put the Lynx up for good.

--Forward Rebekkah Brunson had seven rebounds tonight, moving her past former teammate Taj McWilliams-Franklin into fourth place in WNBA history in career rebounds (3,017). She also played her 10,000th career minute tonight.

--Maya Moore came into the game shooting under 30 percent, and she was 4-for-9 tonight. But she did score 12 points, have six rebounds and five assists.

--But four of the five Lynx starters had at least four turnovers, with Augustus leading the way with five.

--The Lynx are off Wednesday, returning to practice Thursday. They play a rematch with the Sun in Connecticut Friday.

TV Listings

Local Schedule

< >
  • Lynx at Connecticut

    6 pm on 106.1-FM

  • Canterbury Park live racing

    6:30 pm

  • Kansas City at Saints

    7:05 pm on 1220-AM

  • Tampa Bay at Twins

    7:10 pm on FSN, 96.3-FM

  • Canterbury Park live racing

    12:45 pm

  • Tampa Bay at Twins

    1:10 pm on FSN, 96.3-FM

  • Orlando City at Minnesota United FC

    7 pm on Ch. 29, 1500-AM

  • Kansas City at Saints

    7:05 pm on 105.1-FM

  • Canterbury Park live racing

    12:45 pm

  • Tampa Bay at Twins

    1:10 pm on FSN, 96.3-FM

  • Kansas City at Saints

    5:05 pm on 1220-AM

  • San Antonio at Lynx

    6 pm on FSN, 106.1-FM

  • Canterbury Park live racing

    12:45 pm

  • Houston at Twins

    1:10 pm on FSN, 96.3-FM

  • Saints at Cleburne

    7:05 pm on 1220-AM

  • Saints at Cleburne

    7:05 pm on 1220-AM

  • Houston at Twins

    7:10 pm on FSN, 96.3-FM

  • Houston at Twins

    12:10 pm on MLBN, 96.3-FM

  • Saints at Cleburne

    7:05 pm on 1220-AM

  • Saints at Cleburne

    7:05 pm on 1220-AM

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Today's Scoreboard

  • Seattle

    Washington

     

    - F

    4

    2

  • Pittsburgh

    Atlanta

     

    - F

    9

    4

  • Kansas City

    NY Yankees

    Postponed

  • Colorado

    Philadelphia

     

    - F

    1

    2

  • LA Angels

    Tampa Bay

     

    - F

    0

    4

  • San Francisco

    Chicago Cubs

     

    - F

    1

    5

  • Cincinnati

    Cleveland

    Postponed

  • Texas

    Boston

     

    - Bot 3rd

    0

    2

  • San Diego

    NY Mets

     

    - Top 4th

    3

    1

  • Detroit

    Houston

     

    - Top 2nd

    0

    0

  • Arizona

    Milwaukee

     

    - Top 2nd

    2

    0

  • St. Louis

    LA Dodgers

    9:10 PM

No NFL games today

  • Cleveland

    Boston

    7:30 PM

    TNT

  • Ottawa

    Pittsburgh

     

    - 1st, 7:22

    0

    0

  • FC Dallas

    Chicago

    7:30 PM