Lynx get mad -- and even Finals series 1-1

  • Article by: ROMAN AUGUSTOVIZ , Star Tribune
  • Updated: October 18, 2012 - 11:28 AM

The defending champions matched the Fever blow for blow, then rode their stars to a Game 2 victory.

 

Game 2 of the WNBA Finals was the kind of tussle that keeps Taj McWilliams-Franklin from retiring.

Bodies were crashing, into each other and to the wooden floor. Coaches were getting technicals. Fouls were called -- occasionally.

When the on-court collisions ended and the confetti starting falling from the Target Center ceiling, the Lynx and an announced crowd of 13,478 celebrated another victory at home.

The defending champions pounded Indiana 83-71, tying the best-of-five series at 1-1. The next two games are in Indianapolis.

The obvious star for the Lynx was Seimone Augustus. On the same day the seven-year veteran was chosen to the All-WNBA first team, the 6-foot guard scored 27 points, 23 in the second half.

"How Seimone got open [was] I set great screens," said McWilliams-Franklin, who turns 42 on Saturday.

McWilliams-Franklin also helped the Lynx shackle Erlana Larkins. The Fever center had 16 points and 15 rebounds in Indiana's 76-70 victory on Sunday in Game 1. Three nights later, Larkins went from superhero to Jane Doe. She had three points and five boards.

One statistic pops out: The Lynx had 24 second-chance points, the Fever three. The home team outrebounded the visitors 32-20, too.

"We got killed on the boards again," said Indiana forward Tamika Catchings, who had 27 points and eight rebounds, both Fever highs.

"It was just bodies flying, hitting, chucking, slamming, shoving and we didn't respond to that," Indiana coach Lin Dunn said. "If that is the way the game is going to be played, we have to match that."

McWilliams-Franklin sure hopes the series remains physical.

"I get beat up all the time," she said. "First game now, Seattle, L.A. It's a habit. I'm a center. I am used to it.

"It's a tough sport. ... It's like wrestling. I love WWE and a lot of the skills I know from it come in handy."

Indiana built a 23-11 lead early in the second quarter before McWilliams-Franklin, playing in a record 62nd playoff game in her 14-year career, started a Lynx rally with a basket and one of her four assists.

By halftime the Lynx were within two.

The game turned late in the third quarter. Trailing 55-54, the Lynx went on a 17-2 run. Maya Moore, who had 23 points, started it with a three-point play the traditional way. Augustus followed with a three-pointer with 3 seconds left in the quarter.

Larkins made her only basket on six shots as the fourth quarter began, but the Lynx scored the next 11 points and the lead was 71-57.

Game over. The Lynx's home record this season improved to 20-2, including four playoff victories.

Augustus scored eight of the Lynx's 17 points in that huge run.

"I always have a fire lit under me," Augustus said. "When you play under coach [Cheryl] Reeve, nothing is ever good enough for her.

"I didn't have the best first half, but I knew that shots were going to fall if I continue to take shots that I normally take."

Augustus was 2-for-8 shooting, for four points, at halftime. She finished 11-for-23 and made three three-pointers. Her seven baskets in the third quarter and nine in the second half both tied the WNBA Finals record.

"She has to have MVP-like performances in order for us to be successful, and we saw that tonight," Reeve said.

But Catchings is not discouraged. She said momentum has not swung in the Lynx's favor.

"We lost Game 1 against Atlanta, came back and won two," Catchings said. "We lost Game 1 against Connecticut and came back and won two. We lost tonight. All we need to do is win two."

The Lynx can say the same.

  • WNBA FINALS game 2: lynx 83, indiana 71 Game 3: 7 p.m. Friday at Indiana • TV: ESPN2 • Series: Tied 1-1
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New England 2/1/15 5:30 PM
Seattle
Detroit 69 FINAL
Philadelphia 89
Portland 94 FINAL
Cleveland 99
Sacramento 102 FINAL
Toronto 119
Boston 98 FINAL
Minnesota 110
Dallas 94 FINAL
Houston 99
Denver 93 FINAL
New Orleans 85
Brooklyn 102 FINAL
Atlanta 113
Oklahoma City 92 FINAL
New York 100
Charlotte 86 FINAL
San Antonio 95
LA Clippers 94 FINAL
Utah 89
Washington 98 FINAL
Phoenix 106
Toronto 1 FINAL(SO)
New Jersey 2
Pittsburgh 0 FINAL
Washington 4
Chicago 3 FINAL
Los Angeles 4
Temple 86 FINAL
UCF 62
Winthrop 75 FINAL
Coastal Carolina 68
Lafayette 59 FINAL
Colgate 54
Northeastern 60 FINAL
Drexel 65
Wake Forest 76 FINAL
Florida State 82
Rhode Island 64 FINAL
Fordham 63
Delaware 82 FINAL
James Madison 88
South Carolina 58 FINAL
LSU 64
New Hampshire 63 FINAL
Maine 58
Seton Hall 80 FINAL
Marquette 70
Binghamton 68 FINAL
UMBC 56
American Univ 54 FINAL
Navy 64
Elon 65 FINAL
UNC-Wilmington 82
Wright State 76 FINAL
Oakland 84
Minnesota 58 FINAL
Penn State 63
Duquesne 55 FINAL
Richmond 86
SMU 63 FINAL
South Florida 52
Hartford 66 FINAL
Stony Brook 72
Albany 47 FINAL
Vermont 44
Hofstra 79 FINAL
William & Mary 100
UNC-Asheville 74 FINAL
Longwood 64
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Char Southern 77
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Loyola-Maryland 0
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Notre Dame 77
Texas Tech 36 FINAL
Oklahoma 81
Oregon State 55 FINAL
Arizona State 73
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Drake 69 FINAL
Bradley 57
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Bucknell 68
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Houston 59
Missouri State 57 FINAL
Illinois State 67
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Nebraska Omaha 64 FINAL
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Georgia Tech 70 FINAL
Miami-Florida 50
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NC State 57
Indiana 67 FINAL
Purdue 83
Kansas 64 FINAL
TCU 61
Oregon 56 FINAL
Arizona 90
Air Force 66 FINAL
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Stanford 84 FINAL
Washington 74
Rider 56 FINAL
Siena 49
Dayton 76 FINAL
Richmond 62
Eastern Kentucky 53 FINAL
Jacksonville St 73
Saint Josephs 0 Postponed
Saint Louis 0
UMBC 71 FINAL
Binghamton 55
Akron 60 FINAL
Ohio U 72
Ball State 72 FINAL
Miami-Ohio 55
Memphis 56 FINAL
Cincinnati 44
East Carolina 32 FINAL
(2) Connecticut 87
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UT Martin 64 FINAL
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Eastern Michigan 56 FINAL
Western Mich 83
Bucknell 61 FINAL
Lehigh 76
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Davidson 45
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St Bonaventure 64
George Mason 66 FINAL
VA Commonwealth 70
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Kansas State 52
West Virginia 57 FINAL
Texas Tech 73
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South Dakota 82
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SIU-Edwardsville 87
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Iowa State 56
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Wyoming 86
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