Lynx gameday 6 p.m. vs. Phoenix • FSN, 106.1-FM
Teams, absent Griner, meet again
Preview: A week of working on defense following a lopsided loss in Chicago paid off in Minnesota’s 88-71 victory Friday in Phoenix, one in which the Lynx held the Mercury to a season-low first-half 24 points. And, now the rematch. This will be the third meeting of the season between the teams and the first in St. Paul. Phoenix center Brittney Griner sustained knee and ankle injuries in the second half Friday and will be lost for three weeks or more. In Griner’s absence, Phoenix coach Sandy Brondello had Camille Little cover Lynx center Sylvia Fowles quite a bit, which is likely to continue. “We have to do a good job of holding and hitting,’’ Phoenix guard Diana Taurasi said. “Making it grimy and wrestle. Take fouls.’’ How the Mercury (11-7) makes up Griner’s scoring remains to be seen. “We just wanted to be hard to play against,’’ Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve said postgame Friday. “And I thought we got that accomplished. Obviously, now, the two teams have to go do it again Sunday.’’
Players to watch: Fowles hit on eight of 12 shots Friday while scoring 18 points with 10 rebounds for her ninth double-double of the season. She has averaged 17.5 points and 9.0 rebounds in two games vs. Phoenix. Maya Moore’s 19 points tied for the team lead, and she got there with 7-for-12 shooting (4-for-7 on threes) while tying a season high with seven assists. The Mercury will need more out of Taurasi, who was 5-for-17 and missed all six three-pointers Friday.
Numbers: Including playoffs, the Lynx have won 11 straight games vs. Phoenix. … Minnesota’s 14-2 record is the franchise’s best ever after 16 games.
Injuries: The Lynx report no injuries. Mercury center Griner (knee/ankle) is out.