Saturday, July 30, 2011

Lynx put shooting clinic on Storm


When the Minnesota Lynx suffered a 65-55 road loss to the Seattle Storm on June 24, Seattle's radio play-by-play commentator speculated the Minnesota Lynx had drafted over guard Candice Wiggins as a result of subsequent high draft picks.

On Friday night at Target Center, Wiggins showed Seattle and the 7,856 in attendance her role is no less valuable with time, sinking five three-pointers as the Lynx blew out the Storm 92-67.

"I knew about that comment, and I almost laughed at it," Wiggins said. "He doesn't understand what's going on in my mind. I knew it would take me a while to find a rhythm."

Wiggins had no shortage of rhythm with 16 points and five assists off the bench. Her point total matched a team high with guard Seimone Augustus. Augustus sank eight of 10 field goals to reach that figure, finding her groove with the mid-range jumper all game.

The Lynx (12-4) needed seven minutes to find their team rhythm, with the Storm (9-8) holding a 14-11 lead late in the first quarter. A 19-2 Minnesota run initiated by one of Augustus' jumpers ensured that was the last time Seattle would be a threat.

So dominant was Minnesota that head coach Cheryl Reeve found extended minutes for her reserves. Center Jessica Adair took advantage, scoring a career-high eight points in just over 11 minutes, while forward Chardé Houston drained all four of her shots and a free throw to score nine points in almost 10 minutes.

"Jim Peterson (Lynx assistant coach) is always in my ear about poise. I repeat it to myself, it's helping me a lot," Adair said.

"We have so much trust and faith in each other," Houston said. "Coach is always putting pressure on us to make the great plays, help each other on defense. All that really ties in."

Minnesota shot 56 percent from the floor against Seattle's 41 percent for the game, causing Minnesota to outscore Seattle in every quarter but the fourth, when both teams put up 18.

For the Storm, forward Swin Cash scored a game-high 18 points with Le'Coe Willingham adding 14, but the biggest surprise was the Lynx defense hampering the Storm's All-Star guard Sue Bird. Bird was held to four points and one assist, making just one field goal in six tries.

"Lindsay Whalen doesn't get a lot of credit for her defensive prowess. She was really impressive on that end of the floor," Reeve said.

The Lynx win gave them their first series victory over the Storm since 2003, which also means the Lynx own a tiebreaker should the Western Conference playoff picture get murky. Minnesota maintained their one-game lead over San Antonio for first place in the Western Conference and will face them in the first of four meetings Sunday at AT&T Center.


Click below for an extended post-game conversation with Candice Wiggins following Minnesota's Faith and Family Night event.

Click below to listen to Swin Cash prior to Friday night's game, as she shares her plans after her playing career is over.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Nice work. Enjoyed the follow-up questions to get more interview.

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