Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Lynx bench tells Mystics to "sit down"


The Minnesota Lynx are now one game away from clinching home-court advantage throughout the playoffs after beating the Washington Mystics 73-56 Tuesday night at Target Center.

Getting some help with Atlanta beating Indiana, one more Minnesota win or Indiana loss would officially give Minnesota the first overall playoff seed.

"We've done a good job of enjoying the small victories and turning back around and getting re-focused," said Lynx forward Maya Moore.

All 11 Minnesota (24-6) players scored, as bench production was pivotal for creating another runaway victory, scoring 29 points against Washington's (5-24) 14.

"They want to do well. When they know they do well, they play more," said Lynx head coach Cheryl Reeve.

Although Lindsay Whalen exploded in the first half, making her first nine shots, Lynx turnovers and Mystics rebounding kept the game close midway through the third quarter. In that stretch, Minnesota's bench was blanked with the limited minutes they received.

With 5:44 left in the third and Minnesota leading 40-39, Monica Wright nailed a 22-foot three-pointer to spark a 13-0 run and the contest was never in doubt.

"We never want to be blanked. There's something inside yourself that you have to bring out when you're not doing so well," said Lynx reserve center Jessica Adair, who scored double-figures for the first time in her career with 10.

Adair, playing more minutes as she grows more comfortable with her leaner, quicker body, is less concerned about getting in foul trouble and more focused on contributing offensively.

"It's making all my free throws, making contested lay-ups," she said.

Whalen scored a game-high 21 points, finishing 10-of-12 from the floor.

"I was trying to be aggressive, get off the pick and roll, get in the lane," she said.

Mystics forward Crystal Langhorne scored 13 points with guard Matee Ajavon struggling to reach 10, making just four of 15 field goals.

Washington, eliminated from playoff contention some time ago, laid out a warning to any playoff opponent the Lynx get.

"Very hard-nosed, blue-collar workers. I think they'll get the job done," Ajavon said about Minnesota's playoff push.

Perhaps they understand the most out of any team. The Mystics traded their 2012 first-round pick for the Lynx's Nicky Anosike prior to this year's draft, meaning the Lynx will once again get to take part in the draft lottery to bolster a team already feared by opponents.

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