Lynx use dominant first quarter to rout Wings, win third in four games
Moriah Jefferson's triple-double leads Minnesota with 13 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists
MINNEAPOLIS — Before Tuesday’s game Cheryl Reeve talked about how it’s time for the Minnesota Lynx to make a move.
The coach’s want was followed from the opening tip.
Moriah Jefferson had her first-career triple-double, Aerial Powers scored 13 of her 20 points in the first quarter when the Lynx couldn’t miss from long range to open an early 22-point lead and Minnesota routed Dallas 92-64.
It was a balanced offensive attack for Minnesota: Jefferson scored 13 points, dished a career-high 10 assists and tied a career high with 10 rebounds; Damiris Dantas had 11 points, six rebounds and four assists; Sylvia Fowles scored 10 points in just 15 minutes, and Kayla McBride had nine points and six rebounds.
Minnesota (6-14) has won three of four, its lone setback coming on a buzzer-beater Sunday in Chicago — a game it rallied from 12 points down in the fourth quarter. The last four Lynx setbacks are by a combined 10 points.
Entering the night shooting a WNBA-worst 32.1 percent from outside the arc, the Lynx made its first seven 3-point attempts — three by Powers and two by Jefferson — in opening a 33-11 lead after one quarter.
It is the fifth time in team history a franchise-record seven treys were made in a quarter. Minnesota’s dozen 3-pointers in the game is a season high.
Minnesota then cooled considerably, making just seven of 20 second-quarter shots, including one of eight 3-point attempts. Still, the Lynx’s lead increased to 50-20 late in the first half. Its 26-point intermission cushion is the team’s largest halftime lead in three years.
That’s because the Lynx seemingly made all the right moves on the defense: consistent ball pressure, contesting shots, grabbing loose balls and generally outhustling and outmuscling the Wings.
Minnesota, which led 71-48 after three quarters, finished with a 53-30 rebounding edge (17-5 on the offensive glass) and outscored Dallas 25-2 on second-chance points, its highest total in a game since May 20, 2017.
In addition to the fewest points by a Lynx opponent this season, the Wings 24 first-half points were, by far, the fewest by a Minnesota foe in a half this season. The previous low was 31.
Playing without top scorer Allisha Gray, Dallas (9-11) shot 28.8 percent. Arike Ogunbowale was just one of two Wings’ players in double figures with 16 points.
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