After the Lynx lost at New York on Tuesday, coach Cheryl Reeve talked about problems on both ends of the court that have contributed to an 0-2 start.

The Lynx have had a 10-point quarter in both games. Tuesday the team shot 37.8%, a number bolstered by center Sylvia Fowles' 11-for-17 performance. On defense, the Lynx struggled to stop Phoenix in the paint in the season opener and had difficulty with New York's pick-and-roll offense. Sabrina Ionescu became the youngest player in WNBA history with a triple-double on a night when dribble penetration by the Liberty resulted in kick-outs for numerous open three-point attempts.

"They moved the ball extremely well,'' Reeve said. "They know what they're trying to get, they know where the help is coming from. … Everything [defensively] was late. We didn't ever put them in difficult positions with our defense.''

Reeve warned the start of the season could be rocky. While several teams are playing without key players because of European seasons running late — the Lynx are still waiting for Napheesa Collier to finish her COVID-19 quarantine — the Lynx have been hit hard. Free-agent signee Kayla McBride missed all of camp, never practicing with her new team. Aerial Powers was also limited in camp by Reeve because of health concerns and is still working into shape. That means the Lynx went through much of camp without three of five starters.

Add to that Reeve's decision to go with a starting rotation that has Powers and McBride at guard, with Powers initiating the offense and Crystal Dangerfield coming off the bench, and there are going to be growing pains.

The Lynx will host defending champion Seattle at Target Center on Thursday. It will likely be their last game without Collier; the team will have a week between games, ample time to work Collier into the mix with her new teammates.

According to both McBride and Powers, the key to improvement starts with better defense.

Powers talked about the need to lock in on the defensive end. "I have to be a better defensive player for my team,'' she said. "More energy. We have to let our defense lead to our offense.''

Said McBride: "It's super hard to come down and constantly get scored on, exerting energy there, and then constantly trying to get back down on offense and making a play. So I think we have to figure out how to get stops, first, and then our offense will figure itself out. We'll figure it out.''

Big night

Perhaps obscured by the loss in New York was the night center Fowles had:

• She finished with 26 points and 11 rebounds, her second double-double to start the season. That 11th rebound pushed Fowles (1,590) past Maya Moore (1,589) for second in Lynx history; she only trails Rebekkah Brunson (2,158). Fowles (3,422) and Brunson (3,356) are 1-2 in WNBA career rebounding.

• With 2,425 career defensive rebounds, Fowles is now tied with Lisa Leslie for most in league history.

• Fowles (5,524) moved past former teammate Lindsay Whalen (5,523) into 17th place in scoring in league history.

Shepard strong

Jessica Shepard had 12 points, six boards, three assists and was a plus-3 in 18-plus minutes Tuesday. It was her first career game with 10 or more points and five or more boards. She had four of the team's eight offensive rebounds.