The Minnesota Lynx came into Sunday evening’s game on the road looking to make a jump in the WNBA playoff picture while facing an opponent just ahead of them in the league standings.
Entering the day in the No. 7 seed in the standings while sitting 6.5 games back of the top-seeded Washington Mystics, Minnesota faced the sixth-seeded Seattle Storm in the first game of a two-game road trip, trailing the Storm by a half-game.
With important playoff positioning on the line, the Lynx weren’t able to take advantage of the opportunity, falling to the defending champion Seattle Storm 82-74 on Sunday at Alaska Airlines Arena in Seattle.
After losing to the Storm, Minnesota has now lost two in a row and dropped to 13-14 on the season, also falling to the No. 8 seed in the WNBA standings. With the victory, Seattle improved to 15-13 on the year and holds onto the No. 6 seed with a half-dozen games remaining in the regular season.
To open up the game, Minnesota got off to a rough start in the first five minutes, failing to score until the 4:56 mark in the first quarter. The Lynx, which ended up trailing by as much as 12 points in the frame, managed to get back on track in the final five minutes of the quarter, narrowing the Storm lead down to 21-14 going into the second.
Before halftime in Seattle, Minnesota was able to climb back into the game behind the efforts of rookie wing Napheesa Collier, who tallied 14 over her total 16 points in the first two quarters.
The Lynx, despite allowing the Storm to shoot 51 percent and convert on seven 3s in the first half, finished shooting 48.5 percent from the field as a team going into the break.
Out of halftime, Odyssey Sims put on a show for Minnesota and took over in the third quarter to cut Seattle’s lead down from 15 points to four going into the fourth quarter. Sims, who tallied 18 of her total 30 points in the third, helped the Lynx narrow the deficit down to 67-63 heading into the final 10 minutes.
To finish out the game, Seattle was able to hold off a late Minnesota comeback and held a 15-11 advantage in the fourth quarter to cruise to a eight-point victory on its home court at Alaska Airlines Arena.
For Minnesota, Sims finished with an impressive stat line of 30 points, four rebounds, three assists and three steals to lead the Lynx, who finished shooting 50.8 percent as a team in the game.
Behind Sims, Collier tallied 16 points and five rebounds, Sylvia Fowles added 11 points and three assists and Danielle Robinson contributed seven points, nine assists and four rebounds. Minnesota ended up committing 17 turnovers in the defeat.
For Seattle, six players finished the game in double figures in scoring to lead the way for the Storm, which shot 51.7 percent from the field with eight 3s.
Jordin Canada had 14 points and six assists, Jewell Loyd and former Lynx forward Natasha Howard added 13 points each, Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis had 11 points off the bench and Alysha Clark and Mercedas Russell each pitched in 10 points a piece.
The Lynx will remain on the road to wrap up a two-game road trip when they take on the Los Angeles Sparks at 9:30 p.m. CT at Staples Center in Los Angeles. The game will be aired on NBA TV and can be heard locally in Minnesota on 106.1 FM.