WNBA: Streaking Lynx face mentally tough Mercury


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The Minnesota Lynx will go for their sixth win in a row when they tip off against the Phoenix Mercury on Saturday night in Minneapolis.

Minnesota (12-3) is coming off a 68-55 win over the Atlanta Dream on Wednesday night. The Lynx have not lost since June 7, which was the last time they played the Mercury.

Meanwhile, Phoenix (8-7) is looking to improve to 2-1 against Minnesota this season. The Lynx won the first meeting 95-71 on May 31 in Minneapolis before the Mercury got revenge with an 81-80 victory earlier this month.

The Mercury have won two games in a row, including a 99-93 victory over the New York Liberty in their most recent game Tuesday night.

The Mercury had to rally in the second half, outscoring the Liberty 30-17 in the fourth quarter. Players said the comeback showed the team’s togetherness.

“It says a lot about the grit and the character of this group,” guard Rebecca Allen said. “So, in every game there’s ebbs and flows, but it’s the way that we’re able to bounce back constantly and stay together. I think our huddles are always productive. We’ve always got something to say.

“We’re really trying to pick each other up in big moments as well. It’s winning those games, but it’s also the small moments within the games that are huge.”

The Lynx also are finding multiple ways to win as they surge toward the top of the WNBA standings. In their most recent win over Atlanta, they overcame a shaky night on offense by limiting the Dream to 55 points — a season low for the Lynx defense.

“As I shared with the team, that was not one for the Louvre, that’s for sure,” Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve said. “But it’s important to be disappointed with some things but still win the game.”

Napheesa Collier is the Lynx’s top scorer with 20.7 points per game to go along with a team-high 10.1 rebounds. Kayla McBride is averaging 16.5 points and Alanna Smith is averaging 11.9.

Kahleah Cooper, Brittney Griner and Diana Taurasi comprise the Mercury’s top three scorers. Cooper is averaging 23.5 points, Griner is averaging 21.4 and Taurasi is at a 16.9 clip.

Minnesota is 8-1 at home this season. Phoenix is 2-5 on the road.

–Field Level Media


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