A little over a week ago, the Minnesota Lynx were among the top four teams in the WNBA standings while looking to pick up some steam heading into the 2019 All-Star Break.
Fast forward about a week later, Minnesota now finds itself in the bottom half of the standings while experiencing another multi-game losing streak.
In the organization’s annual Camp Day Game on Wednesday afternoon at Target Center, the Lynx fell to the Washington Mystics 79-71 in front of nearly 18,000 fans to bump their losing streak to three games in a row.
Minnesota will head into the All-Star Break with an overall record of 10-10 through the first 20 games of the summer, with Wednesday’s defeating bouncing them down to eighth place in the WNBA standings.
The Lynx, however, are still ultimately sitting in a spot to reach the postseason once again and are just 3.5 games back of the first-place Connecticut Sun (13-6) and Las Vegas Aces (13-6) tied atop the standings.
The talent spread across the top of the WNBA this summer is very balanced, which could allow Minnesota to rest up and still make a run in the second portion of the regular season.
In Wednesday’s loss, the Mystics got out to a large lead over the Lynx on their home floor and didn’t look back for the remainder of the game. After taking a 26-16 advantage through the first quarter, Washington didn’t surrender the lead for the rest of the contest.
To round out the first half, Washington carried a 44-32 lead into halftime while leading by as much as 20 points during the second quarter. Kristi Toliver went off for 20 first-half points, contributing to four of the Mystics’ six 3-pointers in the first half.
The Lynx were able to cut into their deficit a little bit before the half, ending the second frame on an 8-0 run to narrow things down to a 12-point game at the break. Minnesota finished shooting 40 percent to combat Washington’s strong first half.
In the second half, the Lynx began to make a late attempt to climb back into the game, outscoring the Mystics 40-35 over the final two quarters, only to come out on the losing end on their home floor for the second game in a row.
Minnesota, which outrebounded Washington 38-25 in the game and finished shooting 43.5 percent from the field with seven three’s, was led by Lexie Brown off the bench with a team-high 19 points (including five 3s) and three assists.
Behind Brown, Sylvia Fowles tallied another double-double of 18 points, 12 rebounds, three assists and two blocks, while Napheesa Collier added a double-double of her own with 15 points, 11 rebounds and two assists.
For the Mystics, who ended up shooting 44.8 percent from the field with a total of eight 3s, Toliver finished with a game-best 32 points and six assists in just under 34 minutes.
Elena Delle Donne contributed 11 points and five rebounds and Natasha Cloud added 10 points and five assists for Washington, which improves to 12-6 on the season and is now a half-game back of first place.
The Lynx will return to action in the second half of the regular season with a two-game road trip that begins with a matchup against the Indiana Fever at 6 p.m. on Aug. 3 in Indiana.