Augustus Returns, Lynx Step Up Late to Snap Losing Streak

(image credit: screenshot from Minnesota Lynx on YouTube)

After three quarters of Tuesday night’s game in Atlanta, the Minnesota Lynx looked to be on the verge of extended their losing streak to a season-long five games while falling to the worst team in the WNBA.

In the fourth quarter, however, Minnesota stepped up in a big way to turn the tide and end its losing streak on the road.

The Lynx took down the Atlanta Dream 85-69 on Tuesday night at State Farm Arena in Atlanta, snapping their four-game losing streak while extending the Dream’s losing streak to eight games.

Over the last handful of minutes in the fourth quarter, Minnesota managed to finish the game on a 25-5 run and outscored Atlanta 30-12 over the 10-minute quarter to battle back to a victory.

With the win, the Lynx move back to the .500 mark on the season with an overall record of 11-11. Minnesota pushed Atlanta to a league-worst 5-18 on the year.

In the opening 10 minutes of the game, the Lynx struggled mightily from the field while the Dream stretched an early lead to as many as seven points midway through the first quarter.

After starting the game shooting 1 of 11, the Lynx were able to pull things together near the end of the quarter, shooting 5 for 9 in the final few minutes, to tie the game up at 18-18 heading to the second.

In the second quarter, the back-and-forth first half continued between Minnesota and Atlanta. With both teams finishing the half shooting below 40 percent from the field, the Lynx and Dream went into the break knotted up at 41-41.

To open the second half, Atlanta came out of the gate hot to jump out to an early 13-2 run to lead by as much as 11 points.

Minnesota continued to struggle shooting from the field, but also kept the Dream in check during the frame which left the game wide open for the Lynx to battle back. Minnesota ended up ending the quarter on a 12-3 run to trail Atlanta just 57-55 going into the fourth and final quarter.

In the final 10 minutes, the comeback for the Lynx began and it they took off from there in a big way. Minnesota’s offense exploded to hold a near 20-point advantage in the quarter to breeze by Atlanta.

Leading the way for the Lynx in the comeback win was rookie forward Napheesa Collier, who tallied a near triple-double of 22 points, 11 rebounds and five assists.

Behind Collier, Odyssey Sims contributed with 13 points, four rebounds and four assists and Sylvia Fowles — who tallied her 600th career block in the game, becoming one of four players in WNBA history to reach that milestone — grabbed a double-double of 12 points and 11 rebounds.

The Lynx also had a familiar face return to the starting lineup in the game for the first time this season. Veteran wing Seimone Augustus made her season debut after battling back from knee surgery to finish with eight points, four assists and two steals in 21 minutes of action.

Along with Fowles accomplishing a milestone, so did Augustus. With her eight points, she surpassed WNBA great Becky Hammon for 10th on the WNBA’s all-time scoring list.

Leading the way for Atlanta in the loss was former Lynx point guard Renee Montgomery, who finished with a team-best 19 points, three rebounds and two steals. Alex Bentley added 12 points off the bench and Tiffany Hayes finished with 12 points and three assists for the Dream.

Minnesota struggled shooting the ball offensively in the game, shooting just 39.7 percent as a team. But the Lynx managed to hold the Dream to shooting 33.3 percent from the field, which held the door open long enough to complete a late-game comeback.

With their losing streak now behind them, the Lynx will return back home on Friday for a one-game homestand against the Connecticut Sun at 7 p.m. Friday night at Target Center. The game will be aired on CBS Sports Network, Fox Sports GO and can be heard locally on 106.1 FM.

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(image credit: screenshot from Minnesota Lynx on YouTube)

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