Lynx get a home-court coup

  • Article by: ROMAN AUGUSTOVIZ , Star Tribune
  • Updated: October 10, 2011 - 1:24 PM

After struggling early, the Lynx took charge in the fourth quarter and won comfortably.

For three quarters Sunday, the Lynx were struggling to make shots. And Angel McCoughtry was ablaze, scoring 19 of her 33 points in the third quarter.

Then the fourth quarter began with the score tied, and everything changed. The Lynx went on a 13-0 run -- and held Atlanta scoreless for more than four minutes -- to beat the Dream 88-74.

The victory, before 15,258 fans at Target Center, gives the Lynx a 1-0 lead in the best-of-five WNBA Finals.

Guard Lindsay Whalen opened the final quarter with five points to put the Lynx ahead 67-62. She made a layup while bouncing off 6-3 Sandora Irvin and made the ensuing free throw, then sank a 15-foot jumper.

Four different Lynx combined for the next four baskets. By then it was 75-62, and the second-largest crowd in the Lynx's 13-year history was celebrating and roaring.

Atlanta, the league's second-highest-scoring team at 83 points per game, finally got a basket on reserve Courtney Paris' layup with 4 minutes, 16 gone into the fourth quarter.

"It's only one game. There are four games left," Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve said. "We are excited to bring this excitement to the city, and we will see if we can keep it rolling."

Marynell Meadors, Atlanta's coach, said the Lynx's defense, which set a finals record with 11 blocks, gave her team problems.

"They were very aggressive, they were very physical," Meadors said. "And we didn't hit our shots. And maybe that will change Wednesday" in the second game.

Erika de Souza, a 6-5 center, will rejoin Atlanta after missing the Dream's past three playoff games. De Souza was in Colombia, leading Brazil to the gold medal in the FIBA Americas Championships and qualifying the team for the 2012 Olympics.

"Erika has averaged about 12 to 15 points per game and right around 12 rebounds" in the playoffs, Meadors said, "so that tells you what we miss in her. Her physicality."

Ms. Physicality on Sunday was Rebekkah Brunson. The 6-2 forward for the Lynx scored 26 points, a season high, and had 11 rebounds. She had double-doubles in the Lynx's two double-digit victories over the Dream in June, too.

"We started off a little slow," said Lynx guard Seimone Augustus. "We tried to get the kinks out. It's been four or five days since we played our last game [actually last Sunday]."

In the 13-0 run, Augustus said the Lynx started "creating some havoc and getting turnovers and converting them over into easy baskets."

Whalen, who had 15 points and six assists, said the Lynx kept their poise even when they fell behind by 12 points in the first half.

"We all just said [during a timeout] it's a long game," Whalen said. "Long timeouts, long game. We knew we would make a run back at them.

"There was no time to panic or get frustrated. We were kind of still. We didn't shoot the ball well in the first half. And defensively we weren't quite close enough to shooters as we need to be."

Besides Brunson and Whalen, Seimone Augustus and Maya Moore also were in double figures. Augustus started 1-for-7 from the field but finished with 22 points and seven assists, and Moore ended with 11 points and six rebounds.

McCoughtry did not get much support except for former Lynx Lindsey Harding, who had 20 points. Iziane Castro Marques had 10, but the other two starters had three combined.

The Lynx are 18-3 at home this season.

One of Reeve's big goals was to have the best record in the WNBA, so her team could have the home-court advantage throughout the playoffs.

The Lynx for sure will get one more game at home -- two if the series goes to a fifth game.

"It's fun to be so embraced by the Cities," Moore said.

Winning teams usually are.

  • related content

  • Photo gallery: Oct. 2: Lynx 88, Atlanta 74

    Monday October 3, 2011

    Minnesota Lynx beat the Atlanta Dream 88-74 in Game 1 of the WNBA Finals on Sunday night at Target...

  • Reusse: This night, Brunson is star on team full of them

    Monday October 3, 2011

    The Lynx forward led her team with 26 points, led everyone with 11 rebounds, and was the strongest influence in the victory.

  • Reusse extra: WNBA players never get a break

    Monday October 3, 2011

    Their summer job already has lasted three weeks longer than normal for players with the Lynx. It could be a full month, if underdog Atlanta was to wind up taking...

  • Sunday's Lynx-Atlanta game recap

    Monday October 3, 2011

    The 6-2 forward scored 26 points and had 11 rebounds. She was 10-for-15 from the field.

  • Lynx-Atlanta boxscore

    Monday October 3, 2011

  • Rebekkah Brunson of the Lynx made her layup after a fast break during the second half of opening game of the WNBA finals at Target Center in Minneapolis on Sunday.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

San Francisco - M. Bumgarner 7:07 PM
Pittsburgh - E. Volquez
Minnesota 10/2/14 7:25 PM
Green Bay
Buffalo 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Detroit
Chicago 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Carolina
Cleveland 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Tennessee
St. Louis 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Philadelphia
Atlanta 10/5/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
Tampa Bay 10/5/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Houston 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Dallas
Baltimore 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Indianapolis
Pittsburgh 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Arizona 10/5/14 3:05 PM
Denver
Kansas City 10/5/14 3:25 PM
San Francisco
NY Jets 10/5/14 3:25 PM
San Diego
Cincinnati 10/5/14 7:30 PM
New England
Seattle 10/6/14 7:30 PM
Washington
Washington 6:00 PM
Buffalo
Carolina 6:00 PM
Columbus
Pittsburgh 6:30 PM
Detroit
Montreal 7:30 PM
Chicago
Arizona 8:00 PM
Edmonton
Fla Atlantic 10/2/14 6:00 PM
FIU
UCF 10/2/14 6:00 PM
Houston
Arizona 10/2/14 9:30 PM
(2) Oregon
Louisville 10/3/14 6:00 PM
Syracuse
San Diego St 10/3/14 9:00 PM
Fresno State
Utah State 10/3/14 9:15 PM
(18) BYU
(6) Texas A&M 10/4/14 11:00 AM
(12) Miss State
Ball State 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Army
Iowa State 10/4/14 11:00 AM
(21) Oklahoma State
Marshall 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Old Dominion
Southern Miss 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Middle Tennessee
(20) Ohio State 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Maryland
Purdue 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Illinois
Florida 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Tennessee
SMU 10/4/14 11:00 AM
(22) East Carolina
Virginia Tech 10/4/14 11:30 AM
North Carolina
Eastern Mich 10/4/14 1:00 PM
Akron
North Texas 10/4/14 1:30 PM
Indiana
Massachusetts 10/4/14 1:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
Tulsa 10/4/14 2:00 PM
Colorado State
New Mexico 10/4/14 2:30 PM
TX-San Antonio
(3) Alabama 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(11) Ole Miss
(14) Stanford 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(9) Notre Dame
(17) Wisconsin 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Northwestern
Navy 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Air Force
(7) Baylor 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Texas
(4) Oklahoma 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(25) TCU
Wake Forest 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(1) Florida State
NC State 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Clemson
Buffalo 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Bowling Green
Ohio U 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Central Mich
Oregon State 10/4/14 3:00 PM
Colorado
Vanderbilt 10/4/14 3:00 PM
(13) Georgia
Kansas 10/4/14 3:00 PM
West Virginia
Kent State 10/4/14 4:00 PM
Northern Ill
South Alabama 10/4/14 5:00 PM
Appalachian St
Texas-El Paso 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Louisiana Tech
(15) LSU 10/4/14 6:00 PM
(5) Auburn
UAB 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Western Ky
Texas Tech 10/4/14 6:00 PM
(23) Kansas State
Michigan 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Rutgers
Hawaii 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Rice
Toledo 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Western Mich
ULM 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Arkansas State
Georgia State 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Louisiana
Idaho 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Texas State
Memphis 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Arizona State 10/4/14 6:30 PM
(16) USC
So Carolina 10/4/14 6:30 PM
Kentucky
Pittsburgh 10/4/14 6:30 PM
Virginia
Miami-Florida 10/4/14 6:30 PM
Georgia Tech
(19) Nebraska 10/4/14 7:00 PM
(10) Michigan State
UNLV 10/4/14 7:00 PM
San Jose St
Ga Southern 10/4/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico St
California 10/4/14 9:30 PM
Washington St
Utah 10/4/14 9:30 PM
(8) UCLA
Boise State 10/4/14 9:30 PM
Nevada
Winnipeg 10/3/14 6:00 PM
Ottawa
Calgary 10/3/14 9:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Edmonton 10/4/14 3:00 PM
Toronto
Brt Columbia 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Hamilton
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close