The Lynx's victory in Indiana on Wednesday didn't settle anything, really. It just kept the pressure on.
One game ahead of the Los Angeles Sparks for the best record in the WNBA with two games to go, the Lynx likely have to win both to get the top seed because L.A. has the tiebreaker based on its edge in head-to-head play.
But the way the Lynx beat the Fever provided a late-season twist.
Since Lindsay Whalen went down with a broken finger in her left hand, the Lynx have gone 5-5, often struggling when Renee Montgomery, who is starting in place of Whalen, wasn't at her best.
Wednesday that changed.
Rookie point guard Alexis Jones, taken in the first round of April's draft, had her best game yet. She tied her career high with 11 points and had a season-high four rebounds in 22 minutes of playing time.
In the fourth quarter, in which the Lynx put a tight game away by outscoring the Fever 20-11, Jones played all 10 minutes.
"She made some big shots," Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve said. "She had a nice play, in transition, to Seimone [Augustus]. This is a player with a bright future."
The Lynx finish the season with two home games, vs. Chicago on Friday and vs. Washington on Sunday afternoon.
Whalen is expected back for the playoffs. Whether the Lynx enter those playoffs as a top seed might have a lot to do with the team's backup guards.
Jones and veteran Jia Perkins combined for 21 points Wednesday off the bench. Of those, 14 came in the fourth quarter, with Jones scoring eight and Perkins six.
In Jones' case, it was a matter of a young player growing more confident.
"Renee was struggling," Reeve said. "A.J. came in and played confidently. It was an important game, on a big stage. She showed she can play."
For Perkins, it's a matter of regaining confidence after struggling a bit at midseason.
"It started when Seimone was out," Reeve said of Perkins' improved play. "She got increased minutes, and we saw a change there. It was what she needed, a shot in the arm."
Over her past six games, Perkins has averaged 10.2 points and 3.7 rebounds while shooting 50 percent.
Jones has averaged 7.8 points and 2.0 assists in her past four games. Just as important, Reeve has seen a big improvement in Jones' defense.
Of course, when Whalen returns Montgomery will return to the top backup role at the point with minutes perhaps difficult to find for Jones.
But Reeve has seen enough to put her into any situation should the need arise.
"We would not hesitate to pull the trigger in the playoffs," Reeve said.
Perkins will continue to be Augustus' primary backup at off guard. But her improved play, and Jones', has perhaps given Reeve a deeper bench going forward.
"Looking back, I think A.J. deserved more time [earlier in the season]," Reeve said. "But hindsight is 20-20. But now we're completely comfortable with her."