Sun outshined Minnesota, snapped Lynx’s 8-game winning streak

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Minnesota’s poor first half was too much to overcome as the visiting Lynx fell 72-60 Tuesday night in Connecticut.  It is the first of two straight meetings between the two clubs—the Sun, who is 2-1 since the Olympic break, and Minnesota, who dropped its first game since a month’s layoff, will again face off on Thursday. 

Both clubs are fighting for third place in the overall standings. The hosts remain in third but inched closer to Seattle and Las Vegas for the top spot—they are now 2.5 games ahead of the visitors, who came into the game in fourth place.     

Eye Test—The Lynx played with more spirit after halftime and got the deficit under 10 points with a minute to play.  But the big hole they created before halftime was too much to overcome.

Key Stat—With starters Damaris Dantas and Naphessa Collier watching from the bench—the two combined for 14 points—Minnesota fought back in the game with only regulars Sylvia Fowles and Kayla McBride, along with reserves Rachel Banham, Bridget Carlson. Natalie Achonwa played most of the fourth quarter.

Banham had a good night; she shot 50% from the field (4-8) and finished with eight points. Minnesota needs the same or more from her the rest of the season.

Leading Scorers—Fowles led Minnesota (13-7) with 14 points, and McBride added 12.  Jasmine Thomas led four Sun players in double figures with 19 points. Minnesota’s bench, however, outscored their hosts 15-7.

Finally—the road has not been kind for Minnesota this season. It’s far from panic time, but with two more games (Connecticut on Thursday and at Chicago on Saturday) the Lynx must regain its momentum to stay among the first four teams, which earns first-round playoff byes in September.  Winning at home won’t be enough.