Thursday, December 08, 2022

Lynx Fell From Aces In Las Vegas

The task facing the Lynx earlier in the week was tough. Minnesota was 0-4 and faced a pair of West Coast Road games against a playoff contender in Sparks and title favorite in aces.

Minnesota entered the pair of games, making a potential 0–6 start to the season. It turns out to be a team that would be fine going forward.

With Kayla McBride back in the lineup, Minnesota overtook the Sparks on Tuesday, and went toe-to-toe with aces on Thursday before falling 93-87 in Las Vegas.

After falling behind 11-2, the Lynx were in the fight against Las Vegas for most of the evening, pulling within a point early in the final frame on a triple from Moria Jefferson.

But Minnesota wasn’t clean enough to hit the road against one of the league’s elite. The Lynx made 12 turnovers – leading to 22 points for Las Vegas – and made some very expensive plays.

The most obvious of them came in the fourth quarter, when rookie wing Evina Westbrook committed a major-one foul by encroaching on Jackie Young’s landing spot in a 3-point effort. Young buried all three free throws, Las Vegas (5-1) intercepted the ball due to a dominant rule and Chelsea Gray scored on the rim on the incoming Aces possession.

Just like that, Las Vegas’ lead increased from four points to nine, with a time of 6 minutes, 16 seconds. That swing proved too much for Minnesota.

Young finished with 25 points, with five aces that scored in double digits.

Still, the positivity for Minnesota was dazzling. The Lynx (1-5) looked to be a loser in the first three games of the season, but have found their way into their three most recent appearances.

Ariel Powers emerged on Thursday after a poor start to Shooting Guard’s season. She finished in Las Vegas with 25 points, six rebounds and six assists, looking like star scorer Minnesota desperately needed her. Jessica Shepard continued her impressive start to the campaign, tallying 14 points and 14 rebounds. Sylvia Fowles was her dominant self again, recording 20 points and 11 rebounds for another double-double.

No, it wasn’t enough for Minnesota to win on Thursday, but more such efforts will lead to many more victories in the near future.

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