Kent Youngblood writes about the Minnesota Lynx.

Lynx win big Western Conference showdown with L.A.

Posted by: Kent Youngblood Updated: September 4, 2013 - 11:10 PM

 As usual, Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve was more peeved about how the team’s offense malfunctioned in the fourth quarter than she was happy about the way the team played while building a 16-point lead.

But that’s Reeve.

Fact is, tonight’s victory over L.A. was huge, giving the Lynx a 2½-game lead over the Sparks with a very difficult three-game road trip coming up. The Lynx play two games in Seattle before playing the Sparks again in what still could be a big game.

 Here are some thoughts on tonight’s action:

 --Before the game Reeve talked about how Seimone Augustus has to move to a new level if the team is to succeed in the playoffs. Augustus responded with a 23-point performance that was focused from the start.

--Maya Moore, who has struggled against the Sparks in the past, was strong tonight. She scored 20 points on 6-for-11 shooting. And, when everyone was losing their heads in the fourth quarter, she scored 11 points.

--Whalen had a career-high 14 assists tonight. Of those, seven went to Augustus. So seven of 10 field goals scored by Augustus came courtesy of a Whalen pass. This, folks, was not a coincidence. Whalen is an extension of Reeve on the court. When Reeve wants Augustus to get going, Whalen is going to make sure that happens. Just further proof that Whalen is the best point guard in the WNBA this season and the most important single player on the Lynx roster.

--Rebekkah Brunson and Janel McCarville played very, very hard tonight going against L.A.’s frontcourt of Candace Parker and Nneka Ogwumike. Brunson had a double-double. McCarville had 12 points, four rebounds, four assists and two steals.

McCarville also had yet another three-pointer. It came as the clock was winding down in the second quarter. The Lynx were holding for a last shot, but having trouble getting that shot. McCarville’s bomb gave the team a 12-point halftime lead.

--The double-technical between Ogwumike and McCarville in the closing moments shows how intense this game was, and how intense a future playoff matchup could be.

--Devereaux Peters played very well when pressed into service when Brunson got into foul trouble. Peters played 18½ minutes, got four rebounds, six points and played some good defense.

That’s about all for tonight. Have a good 

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