Lindsay Whalen sat soaking her feet in a tub of water. Maya Moore had her usual ice bag wrapped around her right knee. Seimone Augustus and Sylvia Fowles, who had put the Lynx on her shoulders Friday with 20 points and 12 rebounds, ate takeout from plastic containers.

Here were four of the best players in the world, winding down after a workmanlike 79-72 victory over Seattle, getting ready to hop on a plane for Los Angeles to join the U.S. women's Olympic basketball team. The hopes of a nation tucked together in a small Target Center locker room.

"I don't mind," the easygoing Whalen said. "It is what it is."

Myriad subplots and story lines overshadowed the Lynx's final game before the WNBA's month-long Olympic break.

The Lynx (21-4, second-best in the WNBA) don't play again until Aug. 26 at Connecticut.

There was, of course, the matter of the four players preparing to trade their Lynx jerseys for those of Team USA. Coach Cheryl Reeve will join them in Rio de Janeiro, an assistant on the team under head coach Geno Auriemma.

"I'd forgotten how easy it was to be an assistant," Reeve said before the game. "I love the idea of saying, 'Hey, Geno, what do you want from us?' and then going and doing it."

The rest of the team was preparing to scatter for a week, most going to visit homes they hadn't seen in months. Except Natasha Howard. The reserve forward was chosen for the USA Select team, a group of young players who will practice with and play an exhibition game against the Olympians.

Howard was vital to the Lynx success Friday, her boundless energy providing a boost when the starters struggled. She scored 14 points, including six straight to start the fourth quarter, leading a bench contingent that outscored Seattle's reserves 24-5.

"That's what we do, come in and provide energy for the starters," Howard said. "That's our job."

Howard smiled slowly when asked if she'd prefer to play with USA Select or get a vacation.

"Well, I'd like to go home, but I tried out for Team USA, and this is a chance for me to show what I can do," she said.

Right then, Augustus, one of the Lynx's biggest trash-talkers, bellowed "We're going to beat her," concluding with an obscenity and laughing all the while.

Howard, smiling, replied: "We're going to show them some things," then quietly, so her teammates couldn't hear, added, "What I really want to do is play with this team."

There was additional buzz from a Facebook page created to support the Lynx following their stand against racial violence two weeks ago, calling for a sea of black shirts. Black shirts were plenty, but not enough to call it a blackout.

It wasn't in vain, however. A local activist, Wintana Melekin, was instrumental in securing 200 tickets that were distributed to inner-city youth, something Reeve called "outstanding" in her pregame comments.

Reeve had said that she wasn't worried about the players looking past Seattle despite all of the distractions. And they didn't, but it wasn't easy.

The Storm has two Olympians of its own in rookie Breanna Stewart and ageless point guard Sue Bird. Stewart finished with 18 points, and Bird, guarded by Whalen much of the night, added 16.

Whalen admitted that it was strange to guard a player one night and think she'd be a teammate the next.

"That was kind of weird, but once the game started, I forgot about it," she said. "When it was over, we just said, 'See you tomorrow.'"