Lynx cool the Mercury, lead 1-0 in Conference Finals 23 Sep 11

Lynx 95, Mercury 67

With the win, Minnesota leads Phoenix in the Western Conference Finals, 1-0.

High Points /High Rebounds/ High Assists

Minnesota:
Seimone Augustus, 21  / Rebekkah Brunson, 13 /  Augustus, 7

Phoenix:
Diana Taurasi, 22  / DeWanna Bonner, 8 / Temeka Johnson, 4

With tonight’s win, the Lynx are just a win away from reaching the WNBA Finals for the first time in franchise history. With the win, the Lynx improved to 3-0 at home this postseason, following their regular season success at home (franchise record 14 wins). Tonight’s 28-point win was the largest in Lynx postseason victory and the largest loss of the season for the Mercury. Their 95 points were also a franchise postseason record.

Tonight’s attendance of 8,912 is Minnesota’s ninth consecutive home game dating back to the regular season with a crowd of 8,000 or more. Minnesota is averaging 9,846 during their first three playoff games this year, tops in the WNBA. This season is Minnesota’s sixth consecutive with an improved attendance.

After getting off to a poor start in each of their first three games in the postseason, Minnesota came out of the gate firing against the Mercury tonight, getting off to a 19-5 start en route to outscoring Phoenix 28-11 in the first quarter. This season the first quarter was Phoenix’s most successful offensively, averaging 23.0 points.

After scoring just two points in Minnesota’s first three playoff games, Candice Wiggins was a spark off the bench for the Lynx tonight. Wiggins scored 14 points, including four three-pointers. She finished the regular season with five games with at least four three-pointers (Lynx 5-0).

Entering the game second in the league in shooting during her first postseason, Seimone Augustus scored 21 points tonight on 8-of-14 shooting. Augustus has topped the 20-point mark three times this postseason after surpassing it nine times during the regular season.

After a breaking out last game with a 15-point, 9-rebound performance, Rebekkah Brunson posted another solid effort tonight, tallying her first double-double since July 13 vs. Phoenix (16 points, 16 rebounds). Brunson finished the game with 13 points and grabbed 13 rebounds.

Despite entering the game with the best free-throw percentage in the league during the regular season, the Phoenix Mercury shot just 13-of-19 from the charity stripe tonight. Meanwhile, the Lynx ranked just 10th in the WNBA in free throws during the regular season, but converted on 17-of-19 from the line tonight.

Although Phoenix averaged 10.4 three-pointers per game against Minnesota this season, the Lynx limited the Mercury to just 4-of-20 shooting from beyond the arc tonight. Phoenix shot just 35.7% as a team en route to scoring just 67 points.

Averaging 13.3 points per game so far this postseason, Maya Moore came out firing against Phoenix tonight, scoring 13 points in the first quarter. Moore averaged 18.8 points per game against the Mercury during the regular season, her highest average against any Western Conference opponent. She finished the game with 15 points and seven rebounds.

Coming in as Phoenix’s leading postseason scorer at 19.0 ppg (third in the WNBA), the Lynx held Candice Dupree to just 2 points on 1-of-6 shooting tonight.

Game 2 of the Conference Finals is Sunday at 4 pm.  Hear the action on AM 1260 KDUZ.