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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McWilliams-Franklin: Forget lop-sided loss, bench will be key in Game 4

Posted by: Roman Augustoviz under Lynx Updated: October 21, 2012 - 7:33 AM

Center Taj McWilliams-Franklin, who has played in a record 63 playoff games in her 14 seasons in the WNBA, was asked Saturday how the Lynx could recover from Friday's one-sided loss.

“Easily, we play in the WNBA," she said on her 42nd birthday. "Even if we had won, we don’t take that game into the next game. It was a hard game and a loss is a loss. At the end of the game or end of the season there are no asterisks, if you win by 30 or if you win by one – it’s a just a win. We got to the Finals winning by one.

"You win, you win. We recover. We slept, the sun came out this morning, not a lot of it, but we woke up and moved on because we’re still able to play [Sunday]. We’re pretty happy we get to play tomorrow and not have to wait another three days for a game.”

McWilliams-Franklin said the Lynx even have an edge in Game 4.  "We’re actually on a better end than they are because they have six players and we have 11," she said. "Our starters didn’t even play in the fourth quarter. Come Sunday we’ll be rested and ready to go.”

(Actually seven Fever players played over a quarter on Friday while the Lynx played nine over 10 minutes. But Mama Taj was making the point that the Lynx have a much deeper bench.)

THEY SAY

Lynx forward Maya Moore on Friday's loss: "They [the Fever] played exactly how they should have and we didn't."

McWilliams-Franklin: "For us, as starters, we have to start better and we have to finish better. ... I've been playing 20 years professionally, so I've seen a lot of things. This isn't the worst I've seen or the best."

Point guard Lindsay Whalen on the Lynx scoring a season-low 59 points: "We ended up taking really tough shots and not sharing the ball. So obviously working it inside, inside-out, back in, is what you want to do."

Indiana guard Shavonte Zellous, who scored 30 points in Game 3: "We started the offense by going at them on the defensive end. We were able to get deflections. We were pushing up on them. We didn't let them do what they did to us in Game 2 and it made our job so much easier on offense."

Fever guard Erin Phillips on leading by more than 30 points in second half: "I looked up at the score and I couldn't believe it, thinking that I couldn't add properly."

Center Erlana Larkins on teammate Zellous: "Incredible. She did everything we discussed. She told me that I had to get a double-double and I told her that she at least had to score 10 points. She did that times three times [Friday], and we appreciate that. We also need that effort from her Sunday as well." ... Larkins had 10 points and 15 rebounds in Game 3.

 SELLOUT CROWDS

Indiana Pacers coach Frank Vogel and players Danny Granger, George Hill and Paul George bought 4,000 tickets combined for Friday's Game 3 which were distributed free to the public.

* Indiana forward Tamika Catchings, 33, was the league's MVP in 2011. This year she was named the WNBA's defensive player of the year for a fifth time. She is a seven-time all-star, a three-time gold medal winner in the Olympics. Last year she was also selected one of the 15 best players all-time in the league.

* The Fever has made the playoffs eight consecutive years. This is the second time for Indiana in the WNBA Finals. They lost to Phoenix in 2009 after holding a 2-1 lead. ... Indiana, because the team wins 20 or more games almost every year, has had only two picks in the top three in its history. The Fever took Tan White with the No. 2 overall pick in 2005 and Tamika Catchings with the No. 3 pick in 2001.

* Zellous led the Fever in scoring once during the regular season when she had 18 points against Chicago on June 27.

* Maya Moore's 29 points for the Lynx against Indiana on Sept. 17 was the most any opponent scored this season. Seimone Augustus' 27 in Game 2 of the WNBA Finals was second.

PLAYOFF STATS

Most games played

1. Taj McWilliams-Franklin, Lynx, 63

2. Becky Hammon, San Antonio, 58

3. Katie Douglas, Indiana, 55

Most minutes

1. McWilliams-Franklin, 1,912

2. Lisa Leslie, Los Angeles, 1,842

3. Katie Douglas, Indiana, 1,833

9. Tamike Catchings, Indiana, 1,581

Field goals made

1. Leslie, 345

2. Deanna Nolan, Detroit, 324

3. McWilliams-Franklin, 284

4. Douglas, 244

5. Catchings, 238

Field goal attempts

1. Nolan, 768

2. Leslie, 716

3. Douglas, 618

4. McWilliams-Franklin, 608

5. Catchings, 600

Free throws made

1. Catchings, 233

2. Yolanda Griffith, Los Angeles, 184

3. Lindsay Whalen, Lynx, 161

4. Douglas, 147

Free throws attempted

1. Leslie, 284

2. Catchings, 274

3. Griffith, 234

4. Whalen, 200

5. Douglas, 183

6. Williams-Franklin, 175

Three-point field goals

1. Hammon, 109

2. Douglas, 95

11. Catchings, 58

Three-point field goal attempts

1. Douglas, 287

2. Hammon, 281

7. Catchings, 183

Offensive rebounds

1. Griffith, 132

2. McWilliams-Franklin, 134

6. Catchings, 108

9. Rebekkah Brunson, Lynx, 93

Defensive rebounds

1. Leslie, 344

2. Catchings, 323

3. McWilliams-Franklin, 303

9. Brunson, 186

Total rebounds

1. Leslie, 471

2. McWilliams-Franklin, 437 

3. Catchings, 431

9. Brunson, 279

Assists

1. Ticha Penicheiro, Chicago, 204

2. Sue Bird, Seattle, 191

8. Whalen, 162

9. Catchings, 160

10. Douglas, 154

Steals

1. Catchings, 107

2. DeLisha Milton-Jones, Los Angeles, 73

3. Douglas, 72

Blocks

1. Leslie, 132

2. Ruth Riley, San Antonio, 77

3. McWilliams-Franklin, 66

5. Tammy Sutton-Brown, 59

9. Catchings, 42

Points

1. Leslie, 908

2. Nolan, 867

3. Catchings, 767

4. Douglas, 730

5. McWilliams-Franklin, 710

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