After Sunday’s less-than-fantastic finish, the Lynx will have some time. Not scheduled to play again until Saturday, coach Cheryl Reeve will be able to give her team a couple of days off, with three full days of practice on what is ailing a team on a four-game losing streak.
Job 1: Finishing.
Sunday at Target Center, the crowd of 8,392 roared as the Lynx used a 10-2 fourth-quarter run to go up 72-64 after Damiris Dantas’ steal and fast-break layup with 4 minutes, 47 seconds left.
Minnesota didn’t score again for nearly 4½ minutes. By that time the Las Vegas Aces — who only led in this game for 121 seconds total — had used a 14-0 run to take control in an 80-75 victory.
“We have a nice week coming,’’ Reeve said. “I told them, the last five minutes, we have to grow in that area.’’
This was a tough one. After a 3-0 start, the Lynx have now lost four in a row and five of six. This is a younger team with a lot of new faces who hit patches of offensive dysfunction that are hard to overcome.
• Coming out of the gate strong, the Lynx were up 13 in the first quarter before Las Vegas ended the quarter on a 5-0 run.
• Up by as many as 14 early in the second, the Lynx allowed the Aces to pull within four at the half.
• Up 10 with 3 minutes left in the third quarter, the Lynx were outscored 12-2 over the next 180 seconds and the score was tied heading into the fourth.
“We have to get through what we’re struggling with right now,’’ guard Danielle Robinson said. “Which is finishing games. I think, come next Saturday, you’ll see a different team.’’
The loss wasted a wonderful game from Dantas, who hit five of 10 three-pointers on the way to 22 points. Odyssey Sims had 14 points, Robinson scored 12.
The Aces, the best WNBA team in scoring in the paint, were held to 26 points there. But their relentless style led to 27 free throws (to the Lynx’s 10), a discrepancy Reeve wasn’t happy with after the game.
Four Las Vegas starters scored in double figures, led by Kayla McBride’s 22 points and Kelsey Plum’s 21.
The score was tied at 62 early in the fourth quarter when Robinson hit consecutive jump shots. After McBride’s missed a three-pointer, Lynx center Sylvia Fowles scored. After Liz Cambage hit a layup for the Aces, Dantas scored on consecutive possessions, putting the Lynx up 72-64.
Cambage scored, then Fowles missed a layup. McBride hit a three, then Robinson missed at the other end. Then Plum connected on a three-pointer and the score was tied at 72.
Out of a timeout the Lynx were unable to get up a shot. With 2:01 left in the game Cambage was fouled and went to the line and hit two free throws, creating the first lead of the game for the Aces (4-3).
“I think in a close game we kind of speed ourselves up,’’ Lynx rookie Napheesa Collier said. “That causes turnovers, things we don’t want to happen.’’
The Lynx were 1-for-8 with two turnovers over the final 4:47. The Aces were 3-for-5 and were perfect on eight free throws during that time.
“We’re close,’’ Fowles said. “It’s just paying attention to detail. We kind of lose focus. But I’m not too worried. It’s annoying, but we’re right there. It’s the little things.’’
Rookie Jessica Shepard, who tore the ACL in her right knee on June 8, is tentatively scheduled to have surgery on the knee Thursday at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester.