Offensive Struggles Haunt Lynx in Loss to Dream

Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Typically, when the Minnesota Lynx have been able to hold a team to shooting under 40 percent and less than 75 points in a game, they have been awfully tough to beat.

Entering Friday night, Minnesota held a record of 7-0 this season and had been 112-3 since 2011 when holding its opponent under 40 percent from the field. The Lynx were also a perfect 8-0 this year when holding their opponents under 75 total points.

They managed to do both of those things once again at State Farm Arena against the Atlanta Dream, but the outcome was different than what Minnesota has grown accustomed to.

The Lynx saw their three-game winning streak come to an end on Friday night in Atlanta after falling to the league-worst Dream 60-53.

Minnesota managed to put together a solid defensive performance in the game, holding Atlanta to shooting just 33.8 percent as a team while seeing the Dream go 4 of 25 from 3.

But the Lynx held their own struggles on the offensive side of the ball, managing to shoot just 34.8 percent from the field while converting on 3 of 12 shots from beyond the arc.

In the first quarter, Atlanta got off to a hot start on the offensive end of the floor at home. The Dream, which led by as many as 11 points in the quarter, carried a 22-13 lead after the first quarter. With Sylvia Fowles on the bench for most of the quarter in foul trouble, Elizabeth Williams recorded nine of her team-high 17 points to boost the Atlanta surge.

In the final 10 minutes before halftime, Minnesota was able to dig into the deficit a bit, narrowing things down to a five-point game moving into the break. After outscoring the Dream 19-15 in the second quarter, the Lynx went into the locker room down 37-32.

Given the fact that Minnesota struggled from the field in the first half, ending up shooting 41.2 percent through the first two quarters, the Lynx were able to hold the Dream to 38.1 percent shooting, allowing them the opportunity to claw their way back into the game in the final few minutes of the second frame.

Out of halftime, Minnesota was able to continue to cut into the Atlanta deficit. The Lynx narrowed the Dream lead down to one point in the final minutes of the quarter, ultimately trailing Atlanta 47-44 heading into the fourth and final quarter on the road.

The Dream were able to continue to step on the gas and hold off the Lynx the rest of the way, outscoring Minnesota 13-9 in the fourth quarter to secure their third win in the last four games.

Danielle Robinson led the way for the Lynx in the game, finishing with a team-best 14 points, four rebounds and two assists. Fowles added 12 points and 12 rebounds, recording her 157th career double-double and tying her with Lisa Leslie for most double-doubles in WNBA history.

Outside of Robinson and Fowles, no other Minnesota player was able to break into double-figures. Odyssey Sims finished with nine points, seven assists and four rebounds, Lexie Brown had five points off the bench and Napheesa Collier, who struggled shooting just 2 for 11, ended up with four points, eight rebounds, two assists and two blocks.

Williams finished with eight rebounds to go along with her 17 points, while Alex Bentley grabbed 10 points and five rebounds to pace Atlanta. Former Lynx guard Renee Montgomery tallied six points, four rebounds and three assists for the Dream.

Minnesota (9-7 overall) will look to bounce back when it returns home to kick off a two-game homestand back at Target Center on Sunday night. The Lynx will host the Phoenix Mercury at 6 p.m. in Minneapolis on Sunday, before wrapping up the homestand at 7 p.m. Wednesday night against the Seattle Storm.

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