When needed, Lynx's Augustus rises to the challenge

  • Article by: KENT YOUNGBLOOD , Star Tribune
  • Updated: August 23, 2014 - 12:53 AM

After a regular season made difficult by injuries, she stood out down the stretch of a playoff victory.

hide

Minnesota Lynx guard Seimone Augustus (33) pushes the ball up to the basket against San Antonio Stars forward Danielle Adams (23) during the first half of Game 1 of a WNBA basketball Western Conference semifinal, Thursday, Aug. 21, 2014, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Stacy Bengs)

Photo: Stacy Bengs, ASSOCIATED PRESS - AP

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

A little more than 2 minutes remained in Thursday’s playoff game against San Antonio, a game the Lynx had been in control of just moments before, a game the Lynx were in danger of losing.

Stars forward Danielle Adams had just bulled her way to a rebound and a put-back that cut a three-point Lynx lead to one.

For the next 90 seconds, Seimone Augustus took over. She took a pass from Lindsay Whalen and hit a 19-footer for a three-point lead. A minute later, she took a pass from Maya Moore and hit a 17-footer, then, on the team’s next possession, another basket, a 16-footer from a Whalen pass with 33.5 seconds left.

“It was awesome, her out there making shots,” Whalen said afterward. “That’s why they call her Money Mone.’’

The Lynx needed all of that, and more, to hold off the Stars, who kept coming. They needed Whalen’s two free throws with 18.7 seconds left, and another two by Moore to seal the win in the first game of the best-of-three series.

But it is significant that, late in the game, with the Stars committing more players than ever to slow Moore, Augustus was able to step up and make the plays. “I had to push it,” she said. “I started off slowly in the first half, picked it up in the second. But the fourth quarter is go-time.’’

On a night when Moore was magnificent from start to finish — the league posted a highlight reel of her game on Youtube.com — it was nice to see Augustus playing like she did. It’s been a difficult summer for the longtime Lynx star. She started well, but as the season progressed she started feeling pain in her left knee. She missed a game, then returned. In late July it got so bad that she was forced to miss nearly a month. She returned from that, too. But, late in the season with her left knee swollen, the team went to San Antonio to play without her.

“I’ve been through hell,” Augustus said. “I mean, it can’t get any worse than what I’ve been through.” To her, the biggest problem was not just the constant aching in her knee. It was not knowing if and when it would go away.

“Being able to play, not being able to play,” she said. “It’s here one day, not the next. I’ve tried to stay the course. They kept trying to tell me it was going to get better. And, finally, it has.’’

This is important. For, as good as Moore has become, the Lynx need the second half of the duo the team calls “the bookends’’ to be playing well for the team to move forward in the playoffs.

“Yes, they need me,” Augustus admitted. “We need each other. I make Maya’s job a lot easier. Maya makes my job a lot easier. Whalen, too.’’

Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve knows this. And that’s why she was so encouraged with what she saw as the team prepared for the series against the Stars.

“I thought Seimone had a really good week of practice,” Reeve said. “And a good week mentally. There was a bounce in her step. I don’t think she’s anywhere near 100 percent. Maybe between 80 and 90, but Seimone has that warrior mentality. When the team needs her she will rise to the challenge. ‘’

Augustus said she was nearly pain-free Thursday. And that’s a good sign for the Lynx, a warning shot for opponents. “Her feeling good is critical to a playoff run,” Reeve said. “As good as Maya is, Seimone is critical to this team.”

Note: Moore was named to the WNBA’s All-Defensive second team Friday.

  • LYNX AT SAN ANTONIO Game 2: 6 p.m. Saturday • TV: ESPN2 (106.1-FM)

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Chicago 17 FINAL
Detroit 34
Philadelphia 33 FINAL
Dallas 10
Seattle 19 FINAL
San Francisco 3
Cleveland 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Buffalo
Washington 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Indianapolis
Tennessee 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Houston
San Diego 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Baltimore
NY Giants 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Cincinnati 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Oakland 11/30/14 12:00 PM
St. Louis
New Orleans 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Pittsburgh
Carolina 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Minnesota
Arizona 11/30/14 3:05 PM
Atlanta
New England 11/30/14 3:25 PM
Green Bay
Denver 11/30/14 7:30 PM
Kansas City
Miami 12/1/14 7:30 PM
NY Jets
Edmonton 0 FINAL(OT)
Nashville 1
ULM 54 FINAL
Robert Morris 71
Santa Clara 57 FINAL
Tennessee 64
Oklahoma 59 FINAL
Butler 46
Austin Peay 79 FINAL
Brown 58
Princeton 56 FINAL
Texas-El Paso 62
Coastal Carolina 67 FINAL
Chattanooga 78
Kansas 76 FINAL
Rhode Island 60
Wisconsin 68 FINAL
Georgetown 65
FIU 53 FINAL
USC Upstate 68
Long Island 54 FINAL
Stony Brook 73
San Diego 71 FINAL
Xavier 82
Illinois 88 FINAL
Indiana State 62
Cal State Fullerton 67 FINAL
Wright State 62
Western Ky 62 FINAL
Saint Josephs 59
Michigan State 77 FINAL
Rider 45
UCLA 56 FINAL
North Carolina 78
Long Beach State 73 FINAL
Western Mich 55
Marquette 72 FINAL
Georgia Tech 70
Stephen F Austin 73 FINAL
Prairie View 61
UAB 47 FINAL
Florida 56
Rice 71 FINAL
Mercer 77
San Jose St 56 FINAL
Washington 78
Washington St 43 FINAL
UC Santa Barbara 71
Baylor 71 FINAL
Memphis 47
LSU 23 FINAL
Texas A&M 17
(6) TCU 48 FINAL
Texas 10
Northern Ill 10:00 AM
Western Mich
Nebraska 11:00 AM
Iowa
Western Ky 11:00 AM
(19) Marshall
UCF 11:00 AM
So Florida
Houston 11:00 AM
SMU
Akron 12:00 PM
Kent State
Ball State 12:00 PM
Bowling Green
Buffalo 12:00 PM
Massachusetts
Toledo 12:00 PM
Eastern Mich
Arkansas 1:30 PM
(17) Missouri
Navy 2:00 PM
South Alabama
(13) Arizona State 2:30 PM
(12) Arizona
Stanford 2:30 PM
(9) UCLA
(21) Colorado State 2:30 PM
Air Force
Virginia 7:00 PM
Virginia Tech
East Carolina 7:30 PM
Tulsa
North Texas 11/29/14 11:00 AM
TX-San Antonio
Old Dominion 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Fla Atlantic
(16) Georgia Tech 11/29/14 11:00 AM
(8) Georgia
Kentucky 11/29/14 11:00 AM
(24) Louisville
So Carolina 11/29/14 11:00 AM
(23) Clemson
West Virginia 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Iowa State
Rice 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Louisiana Tech
Michigan 11/29/14 11:00 AM
(7) Ohio State
Purdue 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Indiana
Illinois 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Northwestern
Cincinnati 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Temple
NC State 11/29/14 11:30 AM
North Carolina
Syracuse 11/29/14 11:30 AM
Boston College
Louisiana 11/29/14 11:30 AM
Troy
Utah 11/29/14 12:00 PM
Colorado
Texas State 11/29/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Idaho 11/29/14 1:00 PM
Appalachian St
Wyoming 11/29/14 2:00 PM
New Mexico
New Mexico St 11/29/14 2:00 PM
Arkansas State
UAB 11/29/14 2:30 PM
Southern Miss
(4) Miss State 11/29/14 2:30 PM
(18) Ole Miss
Notre Dame 11/29/14 2:30 PM
USC
(10) Michigan State 11/29/14 2:30 PM
Penn State
(22) Minnesota 11/29/14 2:30 PM
(14) Wisconsin
(5) Baylor 11/29/14 2:30 PM
Texas Tech
Florida 11/29/14 2:30 PM
(1) Florida State
Rutgers 11/29/14 2:30 PM
Maryland
San Jose St 11/29/14 2:30 PM
San Diego St
Tennessee 11/29/14 3:00 PM
Vanderbilt
Kansas 11/29/14 3:00 PM
(11) Kansas State
Connecticut 11/29/14 3:00 PM
Memphis
BYU 11/29/14 3:30 PM
California
ULM 11/29/14 5:00 PM
Ga Southern
Middle Tennessee 11/29/14 6:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
Hawaii 11/29/14 6:00 PM
Fresno State
Wake Forest 11/29/14 6:00 PM
Duke
Pittsburgh 11/29/14 6:00 PM
Miami-Florida
(15) Auburn 11/29/14 6:45 PM
(2) Alabama
(3) Oregon 11/29/14 7:00 PM
Oregon State
Utah State 11/29/14 9:15 PM
(25) Boise State
Washington 11/29/14 9:30 PM
Washington St
Nevada 11/29/14 9:30 PM
UNLV
UCF 12/4/14 6:30 PM
East Carolina
Hamilton 11/30/14 5:00 PM
Calgary
Hartford 43 FINAL
Furman 53
Clemson 77 FINAL
Ohio State 86
Idaho State 53 FINAL
San Diego State 68
East Carolina 58 FINAL
(22) Syracuse 69
Santa Clara 0 Cancelled
Texas-El Paso 0
Florida State 68 FINAL
Washington 80
Wichita State 39 FINAL
Fla Gulf Coast 56
Wisconsin 44 FINAL
(1) South Carolina 67
Kansas State 0 Cancelled
LSU 0
BYU 73 FINAL
BYU-Hawaii 52
Charlotte 58 FINAL
Montana 67
Illinois 77 FINAL
(9) Kentucky 71
Central Michigan 61 FINAL
Richmond 56
Oklahoma 68 FINAL
South Florida 83
Princeton 72 FINAL
Wake Forest 55
(19) Oregon State 85 FINAL
Butler 53
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close