Since their rise to Championship status in 2011, the Minnesota Lynx have elevated their game within the team construct, put in the work, and created a very intense and entertaining brand of basketball.
“We want to peak every play, that’s our mindset, then look back and say, ‘Wow, we reached our potential’.”
Minnesota Lynx forward Maya Moore
It’s that mindset that allowed Minnesota to recover from a 6-5 record in June by practically going undefeated since, with a record of 12-1 since the start of July. That record is punctuated by an 11 game winning streak that the Lynx will look to extend to 12 as they head to Phoenix to battle for top position in the Western Conference.
“Regardless of what game it is, every time we play I want to play great. I want us to be a well-oiled machine.”
Minnesota Lynx Head Coach Cheryl Reeve
Minnesota has set quite a few historic benchmarks during the Lynx current win streak, which began with Maya Moore scoring 30 to tie the franchise record for 30+ point games against Los Angeles. It was the third time this season the Lynx had defeated the Sparks, and it pushed the momentum for a Lynx team that has high expectations.
That same week, Maya Moore was named to her third WNBA All-Star game as a starter for the Western Conference. Moore is the first Lynx player in franchise history to top all-votes on the All-Star ballot, receiving 28,389. In addition, Minnesota Lynx guards Lindsay Whalen and Seimone Augustus were elected as reserves by the coaches, even though Augustus was not able to participate due to injury.
"She's (Maya Moore) a great player. It's been a lot of fun not only practicing against her, but being able to see what she does in the games when all of the defense is worrying about her, and she still finds a way to score 30 points and do the little things."
Minnesota Lynx forward Tricia Liston
The following contest against Tulsa was a marvel of teamwork. Lindsay Whalen finished the night one rebound shy of a triple-double with 21 points, 10 assists, and 9 rebounds. Center Janel McCarville recorder her 2,000th career point. While Maya Moore dropped 33 points, recorded 11 rebounds, and set a new Lynx franchise record for 30+ point games within a season with 8 games.
The third win of the streak came in a 77-60 victory at home against Seattle who had dealt Minnesota 2 of it’s 6 losses this season. Following the game, Lynx forward Maya Moore participated in the 2014 Taco Bell All-Star Legends and Celebrities Softball Game at Target Field as a participant in Major League Baseball All-Star Week.
“Every possession is extremely important. Coach talks about winning every possession and to just focus on winning this possession. Because games can be decided by one possession, not getting a rebound, that can change the game.”
Minnesota Lynx forward Devereaux Peters
A franchise record 16,413 fans packed the Target Center during the annual ‘Camp-Day’ as Minnesota shut down the Shock in a toughly fought 93-82 contest. Maya racked up 32 points, 9 rebounds, and 5 assists, while Janel McCarville, Devereaux Peters, and Monica Wright provided key defensive effort with Rebekkah Brunson and Seimone Augustus out due to injury.
"It's pretty intense in there. It's high-pitched, a lot of fun, high energy, just a fun day. When there's that many people in the arena it's always fun.”
Minnesota Lynx guard Lindsay Whalen
In a rematch of the WNBA 2013 finals, Minnesota went to double OT against the Atlanta Dream and secured the win 112-108. Maya Moore exploded for 48 points during the contest, the second highest game total in WNBA history, to go with 10 rebounds and 4 assists.
The game also marked All-Star forward Rebekkah Brunson’s first play of the season and she did not disappoint, posting 17 points and 12 rebounds. Lindsay Whalen was key in the win as well adding 26 points and 9 assists.
"I was going to give it all I had… I was going to go out there and try to play as hard as I could and just be myself. I wasn't going to try to hold back.”
Minnesota Lynx forward Rebekkah Brunson
The game against San Antonio saw the return of Seimone Augustus to the line-up after missing eight games with a knee injury. Augustus found her rhythm right away and contributed 17 points, 6 assists, and 4 rebounds in her return. All five starters found their way into double-digits, while the bench added 24 as the Lynx held off the Stars 88-78.
“There are sacrifices we all have to make for our team. You may not necessarily be ready at the time, but when a woman’s down everybody has to woman-up.”
Minnesota Lynx guard Monica Wright
The seventh win of the streak came against the Connecticut Sun on the road. That victory also marked the Lynx’ 20th win of the season, and 100th win since the start of the 2011 campaign. Minnesota became only the second WNBA team to win 100+ games in a four-season span.
The Lynx continued to build momentum as they derailed a 16 game Phoenix Mercury win streak with a 75-67 victory at Target Center. Minnesota had lost the prior two contest against Phoenix this season, but refused to fall a third time.
The game against the Mercury was brutal. It was a true grind-out aggressive style of play punctuated with high intensity defense, a real testament to how strong and talented these athletes are, and the type of perseverance it takes to be successful in the WNBA.
"I mean, we had so much fun tonight. A playoff atmosphere, the fans did a wonderful job, they took the roof off the Target Center tonight. And we enjoyed every bit of it. When we were on our highs, they were right there with us. When Phoenix was scoring and making their run, the fans were still right there with us. We really appreciated it."
Minnesota Lynx guard Seimone Augustus
Maya Moore continued her dominant play on the road against Tulsa, finishing with a game-high 40 points and setting a WNBA-record for most 30+ point games in a single season with 11. Moore also tied Dianna Taurasi (2006) and Katie Smith (2001) for most 40+ point games in a single-season with two. Seimone Augustus added 22 as a healthy Lynx roster began to return to form.
A buzzer-beating tip-in from Seimone Augustus off a missed Lindsay Whalen jumper pushed the Lynx past the Indiana Fever to extend Minnesota’s win streak to 10 games. Augustus led all scorers with 18 points, while Maya Moore recorded her ninth double-double of the season with 15 points, 12 rebounds, 6 assists, and 3 steals.
The 11th game of Minnesota’s winning streak came at home against the Chicago Sky. Chicago had won 3 straight since the return of Elena Delle Donne to the line-up, and desperately needed a win to stay in playoff position in the Eastern Conference. It was a grind-it-out game which featured 16 lead changes and 9 ties, but the Lynx held on in the end with a 74-64 victory.
“I think that is one good thing we do on this team is that we don't really look ahead. Obviously you know what's coming up, but Chicago was obviously first, and what we had in our sights."
Minnesota Lynx center Janel McCarville