The Minnesota Lynx kicked off the 2019 preseason schedule on the right note on Friday night in Minneapolis. A day after the Lynx and the Washington Mystics held a closed practice against each other on Thursday, the two teams faced off in front of 3,200 fans during the preseason opener at Target Center on Friday, seeing Minnesota come away with an 86-79 victory.
The new-look Lynx appeared to be on the same page and clicked right away en route to the win in their first game of the three-game preseason schedule.
Along with notably focusing on pushing the ball up the floor more and increasing its pace on offense, Minnesota finished shooting 49.3 percent from the field in the game while holding Washington to 42.2 percent from the field.
The Lynx, who outrebounded the Mystics 37-19 in the game, also looked strong defensively in the victory. Granted it was the first game of the preseason and many teams are starting to figure things out in preparation for the regular season.
Minnesota got strong contributions from a mix of its returning players as well as from some of its new faces that fans will get used to seeing contribute during the upcoming season.
Sylvia Fowles, who didn’t go play overseas this offseason and mentioned during training camp that she feels healthy and ready to go for the 2019 season, looked impressive and led the way with 19 points, 11 rebounds, two assists and one block in 23-plus minutes.
Minnesota’s new starting point guard as it transitions away from the Lindsay Whalen era, Danielle Robinson, backed up Fowles in the starting lineup with 13 points, five assists and three rebounds in 25 minutes of action.
Some new faces that popped up and shined during the Lynx preseason win on Friday night were newly acquired Odyssey Sims and one of Minnesota’s draft picks from April’s WNBA Draft Jessica Shepard.
Sims looked solid in her first game with the Lynx, ending up tallying a team-leading 20 points in just under 30 minutes off the bench, adding seven assists, five rebounds and two steals. In her WNBA debut, Shepard finished with 10 points, eight boards and three assists in 22 minutes off the bench.
Minnesota will return back to Target Center in the second and final preseason home game this season when it hosts the Chinese National Team at 6 p.m. Wednesday in Minneapolis. The Lynx will round out the preseason slate on May 19 in Las Vegas before they kick off the regular season schedule on May 25 against Chicago.