Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve said both Rebekkah Brunson (cold) and Taj McWilliams-Franklin (stomach problems)  were sick going into Sunday's game.

Yet both played and played well in the Lynx's 88-74 victory over Atlanta in the first game of their best-of-five WNBA Finals series.

"I just told Taj -- she's such a warrior," Reeve said. "I appreciate the heck out of that. She wasn't doing so well and at halftime we attempted to get an IV. They couldn't get an IV in her. So she came back out, was ready to roll and didn't want to come out."

McWilliams-Franklin played just over 30 minutes (30:07) and was four for nine from the field for eight points. She also had 10 rebounds, three assists, a game-high three blocks and two steals.

Brunson was coughing a little in the locker room after the game and sounded congested. She had a little cold, she said, adding, "The Minnesota weather is  tricky. That's all it is."

She played 35 minutes and 25 seconds. Brunson was 10 of 15 from the field and six for seven from the free throw line for a season-high 26 points. She had 11 rebounds, five on the offensive end, two blocks and one assist. 

"They were keying on a lot of other people because we have such a great presence on the perimeter," Brunson said. "And that allowed some things to open up for me tonight.

"I am excited about the win. I am excited about the game. I am excited about the way we played together and the possibilities that left for us."

Brunson said the Lynx needed to win the first game. "It was very important," she said. "From the beginning we said we need to take care of home court."

In the next game, Atlanta will have 6-5 Erika de Souza back at center. "She brings a dominant post presence to [the Dream] team," Brunson said. "Something they were probably lacking a little bit tonight. So we know she is important to them. She is a good asset to that team. And we prepared for her throughout the week."

Brunson said she was a little tired but alright otherwise despite her cold. "I'll go home, get some rest and get back at it [Monday]," she said.

Sunday's crowd of more than 15,000 impressed Brunson. "I loved the great crowd," she said. "I love that Minnesota is rallying behind us. It's amazing. It brings us great pleasure to be able to know that they appreciate us and to be able to go out there and entertain them."

What about the 11 blocks the Lynx had? "We've got some athletes over here," Brunson said.

* Angel McCoughtry's 33 points was two points off the WNBA Finals record of 35 she set a year ago against Seattle. Her 19 points in the third quarter broke the Finals record for most points in a quarter. The previous record was 14 set by Diana Taurasi of Phoenix against Detroit in 2007.

McCoughtry also set a second Finals record with 14 consecutive points. Her streak began at the end of the second quarter and continued into the third quarter. The previous record was 13 points in a row by Crystal Robinson of New York in 1999.

Augustus describing McCoughtry: "She's extremely aggressive. When you think you've got her stopped, she's going to make that extra move, get that extra contact to try to get to the foul line and get free throws.

"And you know she can score from all over. She's going to get to the basket. ... We wanted her to take jumpers or three-pointers, but they were going in tonight.

"You have to expect that she's going to get 20, 25 points in a game. It's about maintaining and containing everybody else and making it difficult for them."

* Sunday's crowd of 15,258 was the second largest in Lynx history. The biggest turnout ever was 16,227 on July 14, 2004 when Connecticut and Lindsay Whalen played at Target Center. That was only a little over three months after Whalen had led the Gophers to the women's FInal Four.

* The Lynx set a Finals record with 11 blocks. McWilliams-Franklin had three, and Seimone Augustus, Maya Moore and Brunson had two apiece. The previous record was 10 blocks by Los Angeles against Charlotte in 2001. The Lynx and Atlanta combined for 17 blocks, another Finals record for two teams. The previous record was 16.