The first 30 minutes of Sunday's game at Chicago were nearly unrelenting frustration for the Lynx.

Their shots weren't falling, particularly from behind the arc. The Sky used their size to push and shove their way to the offensive and defensive glass. Down five entering the fourth quarter, Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve had a message: don't be frustrated, be focused. Don't let up, dig down.

"I knew defense would be our path," Reeve said.

It was. Turning their defense up to 11, holding the Sky to just five points on 2-for-23 shooting, the Lynx spent the fourth quarter rallying to a 70-62 victory.

The win likely couldn't have been more difficult. The Lynx (14-4) shot 38.5%. They made six of 24 three-pointers. They turned the ball over 18 times, resulting in 15 Sky points.

Chicago (6-11) had 16 offensive rebounds.

But, just three days after a loss in Dallas in which the Lynx played uncharacteristically bad defense, Minnesota showed how resilient it can be.

"I think it was almost like a flipped switch," said Kayla McBride, who led the Lynx with 16 points, eight of them in the fourth quarter, all from the free-throw line. "It was like, 'OK, it's winning time,' and all that other stuff goes out the window."

McBride's path to leading the Lynx to victory was a perfect example of how the whole game went for the Lynx. Fidgeting on the bench at the start of the fourth quarter, McBride finally entered the game with 4:23 left and the Lynx down a point. Reeve's message: Don't let Chennedy Carter score.

Carter, who led Chicago with 15 points, didn't score again.

With 3:14 left Courtney Williams scored, was fouled and hit the free throw, putting the Lynx up two points. Moments later McBride got a defensive rebound, was fouled, and hit two free throws with 2:25 left. Seconds later McBride got the rebound of a miss by Sky rookie Angel Reese, was fouled and hit two more free throws with 2:05 left for a six-point lead.

McBride didn't attempt a field goal in the fourth quarter. But she scored eight points, scored eight of the Lynx's final nine and had three rebounds in the final 4:01.

"The fourth quarter won us the game," Alanna Smith said.

BOXSCORE: Lynx 70, Chicago 62

Reeve called the win something of an ugly duckling, but said she'd take it. She joked that she liked almost everything about the fourth quarter except for a late call that put Reese on the line for two free throws, humorously suggesting a conspiracy to keep Reese's double-double streak alive. She did, hitting one of two free throws with 23.2 seconds left for a league-record 10th straight (10 points, 16 boards).

Napheesa Collier, playing with a sore wrist from Thursday's loss, hit five of 13 shots. But she finished with 13 points, 11 rebounds, six assists, three blocks and four steals. She and Reese are two of the four WNBA players averaging double-doubles this season.

Former Lynx guard Lindsay Allen scored 13 for the Sky, but did not score after halftime.

But then, almost no Sky players scored after the third quarter.

"They're just gritty," Reeve said of her team. "We believed we could do it on the defensive end. We didn't play the defense we needed to play in Dallas."

They did Sunday with a fourth quarter in which the Lynx did everything Reeve asked.

"Something worked," McBride said. "Whatever she said worked."

The Star Tribune did not travel for this game. This article was written using the television broadcast and video interviews before and/or after the game.