The Minnesota Lynx open a crucial, four-game homestand Tuesday against the Seattle Storm, with both teams jockeying for position in the top portion of the WNBA standings.
Minnesota (14-9) shook off a two-game slide on Saturday with a strong all-around offensive performance in a 101-95 win at Chicago. Six Lynx scored in double figures, including 16 and 10 points off the bench from Crystal Dangerfield and Aerial Powers, respectively.
“I can’t wait to play in front of the fans. They had a little snippet of me, and I’ve been out for a while,” Powers said in her postgame press conference Saturday. “I can’t wait to be home in Minnesota.”
Powers had not played since June 12, which was just her fourth game of the season due to a hamstring injury. She returned after missing more than three weeks, only to sustain a thumb injury that required surgery.
Her return to the lineup bolsters an already-deep Minnesota rotation, with each of Napheesa Collier (16.3 points per game), Sylvia Fowles (16.1), Kayla McBride (13.9) and Layshia Clarendon (10.7) scoring in double figures on the year
The win also keeps the Lynx in striking distance of the top of a heated WNBA first-place chase. Connecticut, which handed Minnesota back-to-back losses last week, and Las Vegas are tied atop the league at 17-6.
Seattle (18-7) boasts the WNBA’s most wins after rallying from losses at Chicago and New York with an Aug. 20 revenge defeat of the Liberty, and a win Sunday at Washington.
The successful weekend meant the defending league champion’s six-game road trip, which began with a 79-57 win over Connecticut to claim the inaugural Commissioner’s Cup, will wrap up with a .500 or better record.
Minnesota marks the end of the grueling swing for the Storm, who on Friday will play their first home game since July 11.
Seattle’s lengthy road trip included a visit to the White House on Monday in commemoration of the 2020 championship.
“What makes this team wonderful is they don’t just win games,” Pres. Joe Biden said in his press conference during the visit. “They change lives.”
The winning games part of that equation includes key contributions from role players like Mercedes Russell and Katie Lou Samuelson, who scored 14 and 10 points respectively Sunday against Washington.
“It just goes to show the depth of our team, especially the bench,” Breanna Stewart said.
–Field Level Media