Minnesota Lynx guard Seimone Augustus felt surges of pain in her left knee with every movement in Friday night's game against the Washington Mystics at Target Center. Her shot was just as painful...for the Mystics. Augustus hit 9 of 14 attempts to highlight a 75-65 win for Minnesota, calming tensions from the locals.
Augustus made her first three shots to start the game, including a crossing spin move that opened up a floater for the reputable marksman. She noted that her recent bout of bursitis may have provided an unintended benefit.
"Knowing that my legs are hurting, I have to be able to focus on getting enough lift on the ball," she said.
Outside of a 15-2 Lynx (10-4) run to open the second and a 15-4 counter from the Mystics (5-8), neither team made a considerable push, an environment that favored Minnesota. Washington failed to establish a perimeter game, going 5 of 23 from three-point range, and Minnesota spread the ball enough to get reasonable offensive production.
Rebounding played a major factor for Minnesota's thorough control of the game. Embarrassed by the lack of boards in Wednesday's loss to Phoenix, Minnesota posted a small 38-33 advantage against Washington.
"A lot of people went to the rebounds, so it caused them to have to look for more people to box out," said Minnesota center Janel McCarville.
The Lynx threw their definitive punch toward the end of the game with three consecutive shot clock buzzer-beaters. The first was an elbow jumper from Whalen, the second was a circus shot on the right side from Tan White, and the final blow came from a left-side baseline jumper from McCarville.
"I told Janel, regardless of what it says on Twitter, she needs to keep on shooting," said Lynx head coach Cheryl Reeve.
Mystics head coach Mike Thibault took his usual philosophical approach with the loss, with his only disappointment being the team's 35.9 percent clip in field goal shooting.
“I actually thought we got better tonight despite the score. We missed a lot of shots that were make-able shots," he said. "We're trying to give our young ones enough minutes to learn how to play in this league.”
For the Lynx, Maya Moore registered her fourth double-double this season with 20 points and 10 rebounds. Whalen added 12 points and seven assists.
The Mystics were led in scoring by Kara Lawson with 14 points. Kia Vaughn added 10 points and a career-high 13 rebounds
Minnesota completes their grueling stretch of 6 games in 10 days on Sunday, when they host Indiana.