The 25-point margin was the same as the 84-59 Game One victory on Sunday, as Minnesota shot a WNBA Finals-record 56.9 percent from the floor, while taking only one three pointer – a miss from Janel McCarville.
“Our effort on the glass I really enjoyed watching,” said Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve after her team contolled the boards 40-22. “Our defensive posts were outstanding.”
Much like the opening game, Minnesota owned the momentum from the tipoff, and any time the Dream showed a glimmer of a comeback, the Lynx answered right back with a run. When an Alex Bentley three cut the lead to eight midway through the second quarter, six consecutive quickly ensued. When the gap was closed to 10 once again in the third, Minnesota poured in eight unanswered.
Seimone Augustus led a balanced attack with 20 points, Lindsay Whalen and Maya Moore each had 14, Rebekkah Brunson recorded a double-double of 12 points and 10 rebounds (including seven in the first quarter), and McCarville scored 11 and grabbed seven.
“We wanted to make their defense move around a little bit and get the extra passes,” Augustus said. “You make one pass and you think you have a shot into someone else. We accomplished that by moving the ball around and moving their defense around a little bit.”
Dream forward Angel McCoughtry, the league’s leading scorer –who is also the Finals’ all-time points per game leader, was held to 15 on 5-of-18 shooting and was 1-of-7 at halftime. She fouled out with 3:54 remaining.
Atlanta coach Fred Williams said he thought a change to a bigger lineup might have helped, thus 6-foot-4 Aneika Henry started in place of 5-foot-10 Tiffany Hayes. It was Henry’s fourth start of the season, as she scored seven and grabbed six, similar numbers to Erika deSouza’s eight points and eight rebounds.
“We need to go back and regroup ourselves,” Williams said. “There’s no excuse, Minnesota shot well, they did a good job of making things happen, that’s why they’re (Augustus, Moore and Whalen) Olympians.”
Atlanta shot only 35 percent in Tuesday’s game and is now 0-8 in Finals games over the past four seasons.
“We’re mad at ourselves,” said Dream guard Jasmine Thomas, who had 11 points. “We didn’t take care of the ball when we had it, it’s a disappointment, but still there is a focus on winning Game Three.”
The Lynx can wrap up its second title in three years with a win at 5:30 p.m. PT (ESPN2) Thursday at the Gwinnett Center in Duluth, Ga., rather than the Dream’s home Philips Arena.
“I just know that they’re going to come back and be more aggressive the next game and even more determined,” Whalen said. “For us, what we have to worry about and what we have to think about is just coming out in Game Three and set the tone again.”