Lynx Comeback Falls Short in First Loss

Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

After an undefeated start to the opening week of the 2019 WNBA regular season, the Minnesota Lynx suffered their first loss of the season on Tuesday night.

Despite a late-game comeback attempt, the Lynx fell to the defending champion Seattle Storm 84-77 on Tuesday at Angel of the Winds Arena.

Trailing by as many as 12 points in the game, Minnesota battled back and even took the lead on a few occasions in the third and fourth quarters.

Seattle ultimately went on a run in the final minutes of the game to come away with the victory.

After falling behind early on in the game, Minnesota finished the opening quarter on a nice run to battle back into the game and cut Seattle’s lead to 25-19 after one frame. Sylvia Fowles led the way for the Lynx early on, tallying 10 of her total 16 points in the first quarter.

To round out the first half, the Lynx showed some struggles really for the first time this year after having held their opponents in check during the first three games of the season prior to Tuesday night.

The Storm went into halftime carrying a 49-39 lead over Minnesota after shooting a red-hot 66.7 percent from the field. The Lynx, who were also held to just eight rebounds in the opening half, finished the first two quarter shooting 46.7 percent from the field.

Out of halftime, Minnesota and its rookie standout Napheesa Collier got hot and began its battle back into the game, erasing the 12-point deficit to cut Seattle’s lead to 63-62 going into the fourth quarter.

The Lynx, which took the lead in the quarter for the first time since the early minutes of the game, outscored the Storm 23-14 in the third quarter. Collier led the charge in the fight back for Minnesota, recording 10 of her 17 points in the frame.

Even with Minnesota opening the fourth quarter on a 5-0 run and taking the lead at the midway point in the fourth quarter, Seattle was able to go on to hold a 21-15 advantage and finish off the game and hold off the Lynx from completing a comeback.

Collier tallied a team-best 17 points, three rebounds, two assists and two steals and Fowles finished with 16 points and five rebounds to lead the way for Minnesota. Fowles’ five rebounds were enough to push her past Tina Thompson for fourth on the WNBA’s all-time rebounding list.

Behind Collier and Fowles, Damiris Dantas and Danielle Robinson also finished in double figures for the Lynx. Dantas had 14 points and four rebounds, while Robinson added 11 points and four steals. Karima Christmas-Kelly made her first appearance of the season for the Lynx after sitting out the first three games of the year with a knee injury, finishing with three points and two assists in her Minnesota debut.

Seattle was led by Jewell Loyd with 19 points and three assists and Jordin Canada with a career-high 17 points and seven assists. Alysha Clark added 16 points and five rebounds and former Lynx Natasha Howard tallied 12 points and six boards for the defending champions.

The Lynx, who entered the game with 41.3 rebounds per game (second-best in the WNBA), were held to just 17 total rebounds in the game while allowing Seattle to haul in 28 rebounds. Those 17 rebounds are the fewest ever recorded in a single game in Minnesota franchise history (previous low was 18 set in 2005).

After holding their first three opponents under 40 percent shooting from the field, the Lynx allowed the Storm to shoot 59.3 percent from the field, which is the fourth-highest shooting percentage ever given up by Minnesota. The Lynx finished shooting 50.9 percent with eight 3s.

After wrapping up the two-game road trip on Tuesday, the Lynx will return home for a two-game homestand starting with a game against the Phoenix Mercury at 7 p.m. Thursday at Target Center.

Minnesota will finish the homestand with a contest against the Los Angeles Sparks at 2:30 p.m. Saturday in Minneapolis, with the Lynx retiring Lindsay Whalen’s No. 13 jersey prior to the game.

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