Here are two big things to come out of tonight’s Lynx victory over Phoenix:
1.The Lynx, finally, appear to have arrived on the same page with the whole team after the mid-season additions of Renee Montgomery and Sylvia Fowles.
2.The Lynx better hope Lindsay Whalen is a quick healer.
Whalen left tonight’s game in the second quarter with bursitis pain in her ankle and soreness in her Achilles. Whalen has been dealing with this pain for a while, which no doubt contributed to her dip in production the last few weeks. Finally, Sunday, the pain became too much. Whalen, who has been wearing a protective boot when not playing or practicing for a while, left wearing one Sunday. Coach Cheryl Reeve said she didn’t expect Whalen to play in the final four regular-season games, but expected her star guard to be back in time for the playoffs.
Here are some other thoughts on the game
--What a tale of two halves this one was. The Mercury shot 55.6 percent in the first half, 30 percent in the second half, just 4-for-15 in the fourth quarter. The perimeter defense of Anna Cruz and Montgomery was very good down the stretch.
--Montgomery played 28 minutes, her high with the Lynx this season. She scored 15 points, 11 in the second half, eight in the fourth quarter. She was very good tonight.
--And center Sylvia Fowles really battled with Mercury star Brittney Griner. What a matchup. Here are their final numbers: Fowles had 14 points, 13 rebounds and two blocks. Griner had 13 points, seven rebounds and nine blocks. But here’s the kicker: Fowles held Griner scoreless in the second half, out-scoring her 10-0 in the final two quarters.
--This was Minnesota’s fourth victory of the season in games they trailed going into the fourth quarter.
--The 22 second-half points the Lynx allowed is tied for the fewest by a Lynx opponent this season.
--Cruz made just three of 10 shots. But she had four assists and three steals and played some very good defense.
That’s about it for now. Have a great week.