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Game history

Less than 24 hours after being named to her eighth All-Star Game, it was announced that Minnesota Links captain Sylvia Fowles will return after a five-match absence due to a cartilage injury in his right knee. This was incredible news for the Lynx as they struggled to find their rhythm all season long, mostly due to the ever-changing staff. With both Damiris Dantas as well as Natalie Ahonvawho had just played her best game as a Lynx after recovering from her injury, Minnesota’s frontcourt was suddenly unexpectedly deep.

Phoenix Mercury v Minnesota Lynx

Photo by David Sherman/NBAE via Getty Images

It was obvious from the start that Fowles’ return helped stabilize the ship at both ends of the yard. Not only did her defensive presence in the paint cause Phoenix to fire early and often from behind the perimeter, the Force’s impact on the offensive end was immediately felt. The Lynxes shot very poorly all season, but the six-foot center immediately enjoyed an attacking glass, ending the night with a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds. Even her on-board gravity allowed her teammates to make adventurous runs to also pick up rebounds, helping Minnesota score their first 12 points off the paint.

The Mercury were able to take the lead on five of their seven perimeter shots, but the Lynx quickly picked up their pace, scoring five of their triples in the first quarter. A 12-0 run that ended with a buzzer beat the 30-foot bomb. Rachel Benhamhelping the Lynx take a 33-25 lead after one quarter of the game.

They never looked back.

Both teams continued to score at an incredible pace and both had a 57.5% shooting rate by halftime. The guests strongly pressed on to provoke the Lynx into fouls, especially the cunning veteran Diana Taurasi, who completed the game 11 out of 12 from the line herself. They also used the services Tina Charleswho today scored a game-high 26 points after having only seven points in the last meeting 48 hours ago.

Meanwhile, Minnesota will attack from all sides. All five starting players scored 12 or more points, and all four substitutes also entered the scoring column. The trio of Achonwa, Dantas and Shepard continued to perform well from both high and low positions. Moriah Jeffersonwho finished with a team-best 21 points (7/11 FG) and Rachel Benham both effectively increased the pace. The former shared her thoughts during an interview at halftime, “We’re just sharing the ball – nobody’s being selfish.”

The highlight of the evening was Fowles fooling the aforementioned former MVP pair with a fake pass before driving hard to the rim, rising as if she was about to drop one.

A 12-point lead at half-time will never be dangerous territory for the home team. There were a few times when the Mercury crept closer to seven, but their sluggish efforts at both ends of the court constantly made it impossible for them to fully resist. There were a few sloppy passes and poor defensive rebounds that you wouldn’t expect from such a veteran team, especially given their struggles throughout the season.

In the end, Kayla McBride with 2:06 left, he hit a 3-point dagger to maintain a level 12 lead. Despite a little comedy of errors by Lynx ending a very long last minute of the game, they put Phoenix out of his misery with their frigid perimeter shooting. The amazing 42-23 advantage on the glass was evident from what a night it was.

Fowles shared in her interview after the game that the collective result was the key to their victory. While it’s easier said than done, bringing back the best center ever, as well as her two veteran teammates, was a big part of how the Lynx broke the 100-point barrier for the first time this season. . “We carried on like we never stopped,” Fowles said. “It’s a completely different game compared to our first couple of games.”

Phoenix Mercury v Minnesota Lynx

Photo by David Sherman/NBAE via Getty Images

Let’s hope this is a sign that more things are ahead of us as the Lynx continue to move forward looking to make a difference this season.

Game Highlights

What’s next

Lynxes hit the road again, visiting the reigning champion Chicago sky on the Sunday, June 26 at 5:00 pm PT. They are currently second in the standings after beating the Sparks 82-59 tonight. In their earlier matchup against the Minnesota, the Chicagos survived the Lynx’s late streak to win 82–78.

Let’s hope this is a sign that more things are ahead of us as the Lynx continue to move forward looking to make a difference this season.

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