After losing four straight games, including three in a row at home in Minneapolis, the Minnesota Lynx bounced back and got on track with a 92-83 win over the New York Liberty on Saturday night that snapped those streaks.
With the win, the Lynx were able to get back to the .500 mark on the season, improving to 5-5 overall heading into a new week.
Although taking care of business at home and getting back into the win column is certainly a positive for Minnesota, it will now enter another tough test over the next few weeks with a handful of road games away from its home crowd.
“We have to see what worked well for us (on Saturday). … We need to just keep pushing that, seeing what works for us, seeing what doesn’t and trying to eliminate those things,” Napheesa Collier told Zone Coverage after Saturday’s win. “It’s good to see that even though we’ve faltered at some points, to see things progressing at least. It’s a confidence builder, especially getting a win at home is always really good.
“We’ve had some up and down moments, but it’s definitely progress from what we’ve had in the past couple of games. I’m sure we are just going to improve from here.”
Minnesota kicks off a road stretch this week where it will spend five of its next six games away from Target Center.
The Lynx open up a two-game road trip on Tuesday night when they face the Indiana Fever at 6 p.m., before finishing up the trip against the Dallas Wings on Sunday. Minnesota will return home on July 2 against Atlanta, only to hit the road again for a three-game road trip against Connecticut on July 6, Chicago on July 10 and Atlanta on July 12.
“We’ve been letting the last couple of games get away from us. … We’re going to have to have mental toughness (on the road). We know we are going to have to play harder than what we’ve been playing at home,” Odyssey Sims said. “I think we are going to get it done. It’s just about taking it one game at a time, continuing to talk to each other, keeping our chemistry together and we’ll be fine.”
The upcoming road stretch will put the Lynx to the test, with a few of those games coming against teams near the top of the WNBA standings.
Although Dallas and Atlanta are two teams struggling at the bottom of the league, Connecticut is in first place at 9-2, Chicago is in third at 6-3 overall and Indiana is seventh in the WNBA at 5-6. The road trip will certainly be a measuring stick for Minnesota, which is currently in sixth place in the standings.
“We left what we did the first nine games behind. This last week has been a very productive week and I’m happy that we’ve put it together collectively on the floor,” Sylvia Fowles said. “I think we look good, we feel good and I think that’s the angle we are going to take from here on out.”
“We’re picking it up a little bit offensively. … Our defense was always where we wanted it to be, but just try to pick it up offensively and making sure we are flying up the floor. I think that has been a big change.”
With a record of 4-3 at home, Minnesota is 1-2 in road games so far this summer. The Lynx won in Dallas on June 1, before falling to Seattle on June 4 and New York on June 12.
After getting back on track on Saturday night, Minnesota will look to carry that momentum and continue to build off of the win when it kicks off a tough road stretch over the next few weeks.
“We’ve worked on things that we need to work on, especially closing out games. We know our fourth quarter is our worst quarter,” Sims said. “We are still correcting things, we know we are not going to get everything done in one game, but we will go back and watch it and correct it and just be better next game.”