Minnesota 87, San Antonio 78
Sunday, June 25, 2017
Post Game Notes
•The Lynx move to 11-1 on the season and keep their lead over second place Los Angeles at two games atop the WNBA standings after tonight’s 87-78 victory over the San Antonio Stars. Tonight was the 15th home win in a row against the Stars, which represents a new franchise record against any opponent.
•After tonight’s win the quartet of Seimone Augustus, Rebekkah Brunson, Maya Moore and Lindsay Whalen are now 122-30 overall when playing together. They have now passed Tamecka Dixon, Lisa Leslie, Mwadi Mabika and DeLisha Milton-Jones (Los Angeles, 1999-2004) for most wins as a foursome in league history.
•Sylvia Fowles finished with a game-high-tying 22 points and 10 rebounds, including 17 points and six rebounds in the second half. Tonight was Fowles’ 115th career double-double and seventh of the season. It was also her second 20/10 effort in a row and sixth time this year (46th career).
•For the fourth straight game Maya Moore finished with 20+ points on her way to 22 points on 7-of-12 shooting and four rebounds. Moore went 4-of-4 from the free throw line to extend her streak to 17 straight made free throws dating back to June 9 at Washington.
•Rebekkah Brunson grabbed 10 rebounds tonight, her third 10+ rebound game of the season. Brunson is now two rebounds away from passing Tina Thompson (3070) for third all-time on the WNBA’s rebounding list.
•In a season-high 20:50 minutes off the bench, Natasha Howard led all Lynx reserves for the second straight game with eight points on 4-of-8 shooting, four rebounds and a game-high three blocked shots.
•Led by Brunson and Fowles’ combined 20 rebounds, the Lynx outrebounded San Antonio 36-28. Minnesota has now had the rebounding advantage in three out the last four games.
•Minnesota finished 9-of-18 (50.0%) from three-point territory. Moore led the Lynx by scoring 12 of her 22 points from deep. Tonight represented the second time Minnesota finished 50% or better from three (58.3% vs. Connecticut on May 23).
•The Lynx head on the road Friday night to take on the Phoenix Mercury Friday night at 9:00 p.m. CT at Talking Stick Arena. The game will be televised on Fox Sports North Plus and can be heard on BOB 106 FM.
Sunday, June 25
Minnesota Lynx vs. San Antonio Stars
Minnesota Lynx Head Coach Cheryl Reeve
On the game. . .
“Despite what the game preview said, in terms of what people think should happen in a game like that where you have a team with the best record against a team with the worst record, we were fully aware of how well San Antonio was playing. We watched a ton of video, so we we’re not surprised at the things that they got done. I think we have an understanding of the parity of this league. I asked them to name one bad player on San Antonio’s team and they were hard pressed to name one bad player. There’s a couple of players on there that are some of the best players in the league. It’s a team that’s trying to figure things out and they are playing well. It’s not going to be long until they start winning games.”
On Sylvia Fowles’ performance. . .
“She had some big offensive rebounds and she put a lot pressure (in the post). We were going through Syl, we were going to run this thing through Syl. She had great reads on kick outs. I thought she took a lot of contact, made some free throws and it was vital. I just told her that I was proud that she fought through that.”
On Maya Moore’s game. . .
“She had the opportunity to knock down a couple of big threes and that’s what MVP candidate players should do for you. It has been well-documented that Maya had struggled early, but now she’s really found her groove. Understanding that it’s actually gotten a little bit easier for her. She hasn’t had people leave her in years and now, somebody has to leave. Maya is overall playing better. If you look at eyes, and I’m big on facial expressions, I think what you are seeing from Maya now is way different than what we were seeing in the beginning. I think she was struggling and now she is focused and doing the little things.”
Lynx Center Sylvia Fowles:
On the comeback win. . .
“A lot of our fans just see us win, win, win, but they don’t understand how hard it is. Night’s like this makes you appreciate your teammates even more. Everybody stepped up to the plate and took on the challenge. I’m happy and I’m just trying to push forward and get ready for the next game.”
On getting a big ‘and-one’ late in the game. . .
“I think (Seimone Augustus) was in a rhythm, Maya (Moore) stepped up big for us, Renee (Montgomery) came in and gave us big minutes, Natasha (Howard) came in and played big, so you definitely felt the switch going our way. We just wanted to keep the momentum going our way.”
Lynx Forward Maya Moore:
On her now scoring 20-plus points in four straight games. . .
“This is normal for me, which is now normal. My normal is not normal. I’m doing what I’ve always tried to do. I still feel like there’s another level that I’m working towards, getting to just personally in my own feel out there on the court. We’re playing great team basketball.”
On the comeback in the fourth quarter…
“It wasn’t about strategy, it was about effort and digging down deep and finding the focus at the same time for an extended period of time to put the team away. We would have liked to see that fourth quarter energy throughout the 40 minutes, for whatever reason it wasn’t there. . . Eventually something’s going to give if you keep the energy high and that’s what we saw tonight.”
San Antonio Stars Head Coach Vickie Johnson
On the Lynx challenging Stars’ leads…
“I think Sylvia Fowles, Brunson, Seimone, Maya Moore and Lindsay – that’s in their position. You know, I have a very young team but we fought. You know, Maya Moore made a big time shot. If it wasn’t Maya Moore it was Sylvia Fowles made a couple of layups. If it wasn’t her it was Seimone knocking down a big time shot. They’re vets, USA National Team… They’re used to pressure and if they would have had their bench players in I think those shots probably wouldn’t have been knocked down.”
On keeping players motivated…
“It’s about building a solid foundation for us. We’re a young team; players are 22, 22, 22, 23… Mac just turned 25; easy playing big-time minutes, this is just her second year. She went from ACL, to Phoenix playing six minutes, and now we’re asking her to play 25 minutes against some of the best players in the world. I think it’s about the process, going through the process but doing it right, every possession.”
On goals moving forward…
“We got a little time off. The most important thing now is to go home, get some rest and work Tuesday, Wednesday and get ready for the game on Friday. Just build chemistry because that’s the main thing, that’s the only way we can be successful as a team. For me, the most important thing to lead this team is basketball IQ. Wherever they go, if they go overseas next year they’ll be a better player than when they come back we will be ready to go.”
San Antonio Stars Guard, Kayla McBride
On scoring double digits in 10 out of the last 12 games…
“I have really great teammates who give me the ball where I like to get it, just trying to be aggressive. We’re still working on trying to be a great team both ends of the floor and I try to be consistent in that and that’s my job on this team.”
On the focus to win the next game…
“Just closing out games. I think especially on the road. We’re playing the best team in the league and we were winning pretty much 34 minutes of the game, but it’s those last six minutes where we really had to come together and that’s something we’re still figuring out.”
San Antonio Stars Guard, Moriah Jefferson
On beating her 10-point scoring average per game…
“I was just trying to be aggressive in the pick-and-roll. I know if we set the screens high enough it will be hard for the post to help up on me. I was really just trying to attack to get my teammates open and if they were leaving me I would take the shot.”
On staying motivated on the court…
“We want to get a win and so many of our games have been like this – we fight until the end and we had this six-minute period where it was a missed turnover, missed layup, missed free throw, missed something; another turnover, a miss and a make and the next thing you know you’re down by 10 and there’s two minutes left. So mental focus at the end of the game and half of these games will go our way.”
On Minnesota scoring 32 in the fourth…
“Mental breakdown. We were so locked down on the defensive end and when we went on those runs our defense was starting off and they started hitting shots and we weren’t getting through and playing our schemes the right way. And then we made a few key mistakes and like I said, the next thing you know you look up and you’re down by 10.”