Perhaps the best thing to come out of the Lynx’s victory tonight is the feeling in the Lynx locker room that they might have re-discovered their chemistry.
Take a look at their box score from the game. Four of five starters in double figures, between 13 and 20 points. An amazing 12 points, five rebounds, three blocks – and no turnovers – off the bench for Devereaux Peters. Anna Cruz came off the bench to score nine with two assists and some very good defense on Kristi Toliver and, especially, Ana Dabovic.
The Lynx felt they had found something in the second half of Sunday’s loss in L.A. in a game they found themselves trailing by 22 in the second quarter. They came back to within four points in the fourth quarter but couldn’t get over the hump. But they came away feeling that the team, which hadn’t had much time together on the court over the course of the regular season, had found itself.
Tuesday the Lynx never trailed. Never. They pounded the Sparks on the boards, out-scored them 22-4 in second-chance points.
Now the Lynx, with one day to rest and prepare, will face a rested Phoenix team starting Thursday night at 7 p.m. at Target Center.
Here are some other thoughts on the game:
--Lindsay Whalen is back. As coach Cheryl Reeve said after the game, her point guard has her swag back. This is important. Maya Moore might be the big scorer, Seimone Augustus the one who can get her shot off at any time. But, at her best, Whalen is the heart of the team. She had 14 points, six rebounds two assists tonight.
--What a night for Peters. With Sylvia Fowles struggling for three quarters, Peters held the fort, turning in perhaps the best game of her WNBA career.
--Cruz, too, was crucial. She hit her only three-point attempt – and the Lynx’s only three-pointer of the night – and harassed both Toliver and Dabovic.
--Fowles found herself in the fourth, scoring nine of her 13 points in the fourth quarter. This is big. She had been struggling throughout the series. But they needed her, and she delivered. And the team will really need her against Brittney Griner in the upcoming Western Conference finals.
--Just wonderful balance tonight. Six players had between five and eight rebounds. Five players with two or more assists. Five players in double figures.
That’s about all for now. Have a good night.