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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Brunson enjoying herself in Lynx's playoff run

Posted by: Roman Augustoviz under Lynx Updated: October 4, 2012 - 10:13 AM

"I am just playing. I am playing free, I am just trying to have some fun," Rebekkah Brunson said after Wednesday's Lynx practice.

At Seattle's expense in the last series. Brunson had double-doubles in the first two games and missed a third by one rebound.

Her stats against the Storm:

Game 1: 12 pts., 11 rebs. (all on defense), 2 steals, 2 blocks, 6x8 on FTs

Game 2: 22 pts, 15 rebs. (seven on offense), 1 steal

Game 3: 16 pts., nine rebounds (three on offense), 2 assists, 2 blocks, 1 steal ... 8 x 12 on FGs

Little wonder Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve called RB -- or Spartacus by teammate Candice Wiggins -- the series MVP.


Los Angeles, the Lynx's next opponent in the West Finals, split four games with Minnesota. Each team won twice on its home court.

The scores:

May 24 at Target Center, Lynx won 92-84

Seimone Augustus scored 25 points and Brunson 17. Candice Wiggins broke a late tie with a three-pointer, the start of a 10-2 run ... Candace Parker and Kristi Toliver had 23 points apiece, Nneka Ogwumike 20 and nine boards

July 5 at Staples Center, LA won 96-90

Toliver scored 29 points and Parker 28 ad also had 13 rebounds. Lynx closed 20-point deficit to five in closing seconds. ... Augustus had 18 points, Maya Moore 14 and Brunson 11 points and nine boards

Sept. 4 at Target Center, Lynx won 88-77

Maya Moore and Seimone Augustus each scored 23 points. Moore also had nine rebounds and a franchise-record seven steals. ... Alana Beard had 17 points and reserve guard Jenna O'Hea 15 for the Sparks.

Sept. 20 at Staples Center, LA won 92-76

 LA's big two inside posts dominated this game, during which the Lynx rested some starters. Parker and Nneka Ogwumike each had 22 points and 11 rebounds. Beard had 13 points and five steals. ... Monica Wright led the Lynx with a season-high 19 points and Devereaux Peters had maybe her best game with 17 points and a season-high 13 rebounds.

"[The Sparks] are tough," Brunson said. "They have been tough for us this season. If we do what we are supposed to do as a team and help each other out, then we can get it done."

Part of that "we" is soon-to-be 42-year-old Taj McWilliams-Franklin, the 6-2 post.

"Taj is working out there," Brunson said. "We have no doubt that Taj is going to be fine and she is going to do what she has to do defensively."

And Brunson is glad the game is at Target Center.

"That's what we have been working for all season," Brunson said. "To be able to come in and have home-court advantage. It is great to be able to start here, have the Target Center rocking behind us and get us going."


Brunson and assistant coach Jim Petersen starting doing a routine after practice last year meant to improve her outside shot and have continued it. "It helps, putting myself in the best position to be able to hit those shots and knock them down," Brunson said. "And we will continue to work on them throughout the rest of the season.

"[It] enabled me to be prepared when I get the opportunity to shoot it. Shoot it and be confident."

Asked about her reaction to Lindsay Whalen's injury on Tuesday, Brunson said, "Man down, man up. When somebody is down we have a team where we have somebody can step in and continue to keep the flow of the game going. And continue to keep us successful."

Whalen took a nasty fall late in the opening period of the third game against Seattle. She went into the locker room for a while. Then came back with her left wrist heavily taped.

"[Whalen] brings something that I don't think anybody else can bring to this team," Brunson said. "She is, [as an] individual a great player. We do have a team where somebody goes down, we are still capable of getting it done."


On facing Los Angeles: "They are great offensively. And they are playing with a lot of pride and a lot of confidence. That's where we are going to try to lean on our defense and get some stops and get it done."

On the Sparks winning almost all the regular-season weekly and monthly awards in the West: "The individual stuff is nice. It is always good to get those things. But we are looking at something bigger than player of the week."

On how Lynx compare to LA: "They are a very talented offensive team. For sure, definitely. You can't take that away from them. But we are a talented team as well. It is going to be a battle, but the best team is going to win."


When is a home-court advantage not really an edge?

Trick question? No. This is serious.

In the Los Angeles vs. San Antonio series last weekend, neither team played on its home court in the series.

Game One was at Southern Cal's Galen Center because of a "Batman Live" show at the Staples Center, where L.A. usually plays.

Games Two was at the Freeman Coliseum, not the AT&T Center, San Antonio's normal court. The Silver Stars were bumped by a Red Hot Chili Peppers concert.

The Sparks won both games to sweep the series.

"I don't want to make excuses, they played under the same conditions," said guard Becky Hammon of San Antonio was quoted as saying in an Associated Press story. "The one thing I will say, as shooter, the lighting is very dark in "Freeman]. We definitely would have liked to play at the AT&T Center.

"It wasn't what cost us the game, but it would have been nice. We worked all season for the most important game and it would have been nice to be at home."

The Sparks won the first game 93-86, the second 101-94.

* When Connecticut beat New York 75-62 on Saturday to win that Eastern Conference semifinal series, the Liberty scored the game's first 12 points, the winning Sun the last 14.





Toronto - LP: D. Hutchison 2 FINAL
NY Yankees - WP: M. Tanaka 5
Washington - WP: S. Strasburg 2 FINAL
Miami - LP: N. Eovaldi 1
NY Mets - WP: J. deGrom 10 FINAL
Atlanta - LP: E. Santana 2
Boston - WP: J. Kelly 3 FINAL
Baltimore - LP: M. Gonzalez 2
Milwaukee - LP: W. Peralta 0 FINAL
Pittsburgh - WP: V. Worley 1
Chicago WSox - WP: J. Danks 10 FINAL
Tampa Bay - LP: N. Karns 5
Cleveland - WP: C. Kluber 7 FINAL
Minnesota - LP: A. Swarzak 2
Detroit - LP: R. Porcello 2 FINAL
Kansas City - WP: J. Guthrie 5
Seattle - LP: H. Iwakuma 3 FINAL
Houston - WP: C. McHugh 8
Los Angeles - WP: C. Perez 8 FINAL
Chicago Cubs - LP: J. Turner 5
Texas - WP: S. Tolleson 2 FINAL
LA Angels - LP: H. Street 1
Philadelphia - LP: M. Gonzalez 6 FINAL
Oakland - WP: S. Doolittle 8
San Francisco - LP: R. Vogelsong 2 FINAL
San Diego - WP: I. Kennedy 8
Arizona - LP: W. Miley 3 FINAL
Colorado - WP: C. Bergman 8
Cincinnati - WP: A. Simon 7 FINAL
St. Louis - LP: L. Lynn 2
San Diego 22 FINAL
Buffalo 10
Dallas 34 FINAL
St. Louis 31
Washington 34 FINAL
Philadelphia 37
Houston 17 FINAL
NY Giants 30
Minnesota 9 FINAL
New Orleans 20
Tennessee 7 FINAL
Cincinnati 33
Baltimore 23 FINAL
Cleveland 21
Green Bay 7 FINAL
Detroit 19
Indianapolis 44 FINAL
Jacksonville 17
Oakland 9 FINAL
New England 16
San Francisco 14 FINAL
Arizona 23
Denver 20 FINAL
Seattle 26
Kansas City 34 FINAL
Miami 15
Pittsburgh 37 FINAL
Carolina 19
Chicago 7:30 PM
NY Jets
NY Giants 9/25/14 7:25 PM
Columbus 4 FINAL
Carolina 3
Buffalo 0 FINAL
Washington 1
St. Louis 3 FINAL
Columbus 4
Calgary 1 FINAL
Edmonton 3
Edmonton 0 FINAL
Calgary 1
Old Dominion 45 FINAL
Rice 42
Troy 0 FINAL
(12) Georgia 66
Georgia Tech 27 FINAL
Virginia Tech 24
Eastern Mich 14 FINAL
(9) Michigan State 73
Iowa 24 FINAL
Pittsburgh 20
Bowling Green 17 FINAL
(19) Wisconsin 68
Maryland 34 FINAL
Syracuse 20
Tulane 13 FINAL
Duke 47
Hawaii 12 FINAL
Colorado 21
Marshall 48 FINAL
Akron 17
North Carolina 41 FINAL
(23) East Carolina 70
Army 21 FINAL
Wake Forest 24
Virginia 33 FINAL
(20) BYU 41
(6) Texas A&M 58 FINAL
Rutgers 31 FINAL
Navy 24
Central Mich 10 FINAL
Kansas 24
Utah 26 FINAL
Michigan 10
Florida 21 FINAL
(3) Alabama 42
Louisville 34 FINAL
Fla Atlantic 19 FINAL
Wyoming 20
Indiana 31 FINAL
Missouri 27
San Jose St 7 FINAL
Minnesota 24
Texas State 35 FINAL
Illinois 42
Massachusetts 7 FINAL
Penn State 48
Georgia State 14 FINAL
Washington 45
Appalachian St 20 FINAL
Southern Miss 21
(14) Miss State 34 FINAL
(17) LSU 29
Northern Ill 14 FINAL
Arkansas 52
Middle Tennessee 17 FINAL
Memphis 36
Utah State 14 FINAL
Arkansas State 21
Miami-Ohio 24 FINAL
Cincinnati 31
Idaho 24 FINAL
Ohio U 36
Ball State 23 FINAL
Toledo 34
(13) So Carolina 48 FINAL
Vanderbilt 34
(4) Oklahoma 45 FINAL
West Virginia 33
Ga Southern 28 FINAL
South Alabama 6
Houston 47
Miami-Florida 31 FINAL
(21) Nebraska 41
New Mexico 38 FINAL
New Mexico St 35
Clemson 17 FINAL
(1) Florida State 23
California 45 FINAL
Arizona 49
San Diego St 7 FINAL
Oregon State 28
(2) Oregon 38 FINAL
Washington St 31
Louisiana 9 FINAL
Boise State 34
Texas Tech 9/25/14 6:30 PM
(24) Oklahoma State
Appalachian St 9/25/14 6:30 PM
Ga Southern
(11) UCLA 9/25/14 9:00 PM
(15) Arizona State
Middle Tennessee 9/26/14 7:00 PM
Old Dominion
Fresno State 9/26/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico
Texas-El Paso 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(25) Kansas State
Tennessee 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(12) Georgia
Vanderbilt 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Wyoming 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(9) Michigan State
Northwestern 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Penn State
TCU 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Iowa 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Tulane 9/27/14 11:00 AM
So Florida 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(19) Wisconsin
Colorado State 9/27/14 11:30 AM
Boston College
Western Mich 9/27/14 11:30 AM
Virginia Tech
Maryland 9/27/14 12:30 PM
Akron 9/27/14 12:30 PM
Bowling Green 9/27/14 2:00 PM
Arkansas 9/27/14 2:30 PM
(6) Texas A&M
Kent State 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Western Ky 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Minnesota 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Wake Forest 9/27/14 2:30 PM
FIU 9/27/14 2:30 PM
(1) Florida State 9/27/14 2:30 PM
NC State
Miami-Ohio 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Colorado 9/27/14 3:00 PM
Louisiana Tech 9/27/14 3:00 PM
(5) Auburn
Texas 9/27/14 3:00 PM
Temple 9/27/14 3:00 PM
(16) Stanford 9/27/14 3:15 PM
TX-San Antonio 9/27/14 4:00 PM
Fla Atlantic
South Alabama 9/27/14 4:00 PM
Cincinnati 9/27/14 5:00 PM
(22) Ohio State
Rice 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Southern Miss
Missouri 9/27/14 6:00 PM
(13) So Carolina
Boise State 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Air Force
North Carolina 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Central Mich 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Troy 9/27/14 6:00 PM
New Mexico St 9/27/14 6:30 PM
(17) LSU
Memphis 9/27/14 6:30 PM
(10) Ole Miss
Duke 9/27/14 6:30 PM
Texas State 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Washington St 9/27/14 7:00 PM
(8) Notre Dame 9/27/14 7:00 PM
(7) Baylor 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Iowa State
UNLV 9/27/14 7:00 PM
San Diego St
Illinois 9/27/14 8:00 PM
(21) Nebraska
Oregon State 9/27/14 9:30 PM
(18) USC
Nevada 9/27/14 9:30 PM
San Jose St
Chivas USA 0 FINAL
Toronto FC 3
Toronto 40 FINAL
Brt Columbia 23
Edmonton 23 FINAL
Hamilton 25
Calgary 15 FINAL
Montreal 31
Ottawa 32 FINAL
Saskatchewan 35
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