ROSEMONT, ILL. – After clinching homecourt advantage throughout the WNBA playoffs with a win Sunday, the Lynx rested point guard Lindsay Whalen against the Chicago Sky on Tuesday night — she was in street clothes — and played the other starters less than usual through regulation.
The Lynx stayed close to the Sky throughout the game, but ultimately lost 98-97 in overtime, ending their five-game winning streak.
Cappie Pondexter, who scored 24 points, made a layup to put the Sky ahead by one point with 21.3 seconds left to end the scoring.
Seimone Augustus of the Lynx had a shot by the basket blocked with 8.5 seconds left and Renee Montgomery traveled setting up for a three-pointer with 1.4 left, just before Imani Boyette crashed into her.
Maya Moore led the Lynx (26-2) with 27 points, 22 after halftime. Sylvia Fowles, who played seven seasons in Chicago, fouled out late in the fourth quarter but scored 17 points as did Augustus.
Whalen was in street clothes during the game, sitting between the coaching staff and the players and holding a clipboard at times. After the first quarter, she did the sideline interview with ESPN that is typically done by the head coach.
It was a seesaw game, with 17 lead changes and 18 ties. It was 22-all after the first quarter. The Sky led 41-39 at halftime.
Minnesota opened the second half with a 6-0 run, all on Moore’s shooting, to take a 45-41 lead. She made a three-pointer and, when fouled on a layup, a three-point play. By the end of the third quarter, it was tied again at 59.
The Lynx took a 86-83 lead with 6.1 seconds left in the fourth quarter on Montgomery’s two free throws. But Chicago (17-15) tied it in a most unusual way. Courtney Vandersloot was fouled with 4.4 seconds left. She made her first free throw, intentionally missed her second, then got the rebound and was fouled again and made two more free throws to tie the score at 86.
With the win, the Sky secured fourth place alone, which would mean a first-round bye in the playoffs.