We see that you have javascript disabled. Please enable javascript and refresh the page to continue reading local news. If you feel you have received this message in error, please contact the customer support team at 1-833-248-7801.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Lynx beat Mercury to seize control of playoff destiny with 2 games left

Minnesota has won 20 of 23 regular-season games against Phoenix since August 2015, including 10 straight in Arizona.

Minnesota-Lynx.gif
We are part of The Trust Project.

With a pair of games left, the Minnesota Lynx controls their playoff destiny.

Aerial Powers scored 14 points off the bench and provided a fourth-quarter spark, and Minnesota won 86-77 at Phoenix on Wednesday night.

Moriah Jefferson scored just six points, including a dagger with 35 seconds left, but added a career-high 12 assists. Jessica Shepard scored 15 points and added a dozen rebounds.

Minnesota has won 20 of 23 regular-season games against Phoenix since August 2015, including 10 straight in Arizona.

MORE MINNESOTA LYNX COVERAGE:
Pro
With the franchise’s cornerstone player — Sylvia Fowles — now heading into retirement, what’s the team’s path back to the postseason in 2023?
Pro
Fowles finished with 10 points and 12 rebounds for her WNBA-best 193rd career double-double.
Pro
Fowles may have played her last game at Target Center on Friday
Pro
The WNBA’s all-time best center will be celebrated Friday after what may be her final game in Minnesota
Pro
The Lynx (11-19) are now 1 1/2 games behind the Dream but the Phoenix Mercury (12-16 entering Thursday) and New York Liberty (12-17) are also in contention.
Pro
Minnesota shot 42.9 percent from the floor and were 6 of 13 from behind the arc
Pro
For the game, the Lynx committed 16 turnovers and shot 33% from the field while tallying a season-low 57 points — led by 16 from Kayla McBride, who felt the Lynx got good shots that simply weren’t going down.
Pro
Playing their third game in four nights, the Lynx (10-16) moved within a game of Phoenix for the WNBA's final playoff spot with 10 games left.
Pro
Rachel Banham scored 24 points and Sylvia Fowles recorded 20 points and 17 rebounds for Minnesota (9-16), which had a three-game winning streak halted.
Pro
It was the third win in a row for the Lynx (9-15).

Minnesota, Atlanta, New York and Phoenix are tied for seventh place in the standings at 14-20 with Los Angeles one game back. Only two will make the postseason; however, the Lynx own the first tiebreaker over the other three teams.

ADVERTISEMENT

The Lynx, who have won four of their past five, have two tough games left: home against Seattle (20-13) on Friday and at Connecticut (22-11) on Sunday.

Powers, who’s started 30 of 33 games, returned to the Lynx lineup after missing Sunday’s game with left knee soreness.

She scored on a drive with 2:46 left and converted a pair of free throws after getting fouled next time down the floor for a six-point lead with 2:09 to go.

“I think she’s gotten to a place where she’s confident what’s going on medically, but now the next step is to not think about it,” coach Cheryl Reeve said pregame. “This is one of those things that’s going to continue to bother her, much like Moriah, that you just have to keep working though it.”

Sylvia Fowles converted a feed from Jefferson before the latter iced the win with a long jumper. Fowles finished with 16 points and nine rebounds.

Kayla McBride led the Lynx with 18 points.

Minnesota shot 46.2 percent but missed too many shots in the paint and open jumpers.

Still, it’s a win.

ADVERTISEMENT

In her second game back after giving birth May 25, Napheesa Collier overcame early foul trouble, looked more comfortable in the offense and finished with 11 points.

Sophie Cunningham (24 points) and Shey Peddy (21) hurt the Lynx from deep, going a combined 11 of 20 on 3-point shots. Phoenix played without guards Diana Taurasi (quad) and Skylar Diggins-Smith (personal reasons).

Minnesota, thanks to a 13-5 run to end the first half, led 42-40 at the break. It was down 60-59 going to the fourth quarter.

To make room for Powers’ return, the Lynx released forward Nikolina Milić from her hardship exception. The 6-3 rookie averaged six points and three rebounds in 31 games.

______________________________________________________

This story was written by one of our partner news agencies. Forum Communications Company uses content from agencies such as Reuters, Kaiser Health News, Tribune News Service and others to provide a wider range of news to our readers. Learn more about the news services FCC uses here.

Related Topics: MINNESOTA LYNXBASKETBALL
What to read next
Pro
Pro Football Focus ranked Darrisaw as the Vikings’ top run blocker in the game against Detroit. And according to ESPN, Darrisaw is the fourth-best tackle in the NFL this season in its run-block ratings.
Pro
Anthony Edwards, Jaden McDaniels and Karl-Anthony Towns are now armed with another year of experience and playoff battle scars upon which they can rely. Add Rudy Gobert to the mix, and the Wolves should match up well with most teams on any given night.
Pro
Edwards called the incident “a wake-up call” that showed him how much weight his words carry. In the past two weeks, he said he’s learned “in the blink of an eye, things can be gone.”
Pro
He didn’t want to come out of Sunday's preseason game when he was hit by the puck, and actually had to be convinced to leave the ice before the final buzzer sounded.