The Minnesota Lynx and Seattle Storm will return to the Target Center for game 3 of their 1st round WNBA playoff series after the Storm outlasted the Lynx 86-79 in 2OT in game 2. The 2 teams will meet on Tuesday night October 2,
The Lynx led most of the way but just as in game 1, every Lynx lead precipitated the Seattle rally. It was 27-18 at the quarter break, for example, and 31-18 early in the 2nd period as Minnesota bridged the 1st and 2nd quarters with a 16-0 run. Maya Moore scored 7 of those 16 points while Monica Wright added 4.
Seattle roared back with a 15-3 run to get within 1 at halftime.
The Lynx then opened the 3rd with a quick 7-points. Seimone Augustus scored 9 quick points in the 3rd, and Minnesota led by as much as 10 (57-47). But again Seattle roared back to tie at 63. Still the Lynx led 69-65 with just 17 ticks left on the clock, and 70-67 when Taj Franklin-McWilliams missed a probable game and series-clinchng FT at 11 seconds. Lauren Jackson followed with a 3 with 1.1 seconds remaining to force OT.
The Lynx never trailed in the 1st OT but another 3, this one by Tanisha Wright at 24 seconds, forced the 2nd OT. This time it was Seattle that scored 1st to take the lead for only the 2nd time since 18-15. The Lynx never caught up, making just 2-of-7 shots in the 2nd OT while Seattle made 4-of-8. A Rebekah Brunson bucket at 2:06 got Minnesota within 81-79, but the Lynx never scored again.
Once again, it was not 3-time league MVP Jackson, just back from an injury, who was Seattle's secret weapon, it was their defense. The Lynx shot just 32.5 percent from the field (25 buckets out of 77 attempts) while Seattle shot 40 percent (31-of-77). The possession game was a wash as each team got 12 offensive boards, while Minnesota had 15 turnovers and the Storm 16.
After takiong its largest lead of the 2nd half at 57-47, Minnesota made just 3-of-16 FG the rest of the way, and all 3 were Brunson put-backs off the offensive glass. There were a remarkable zero baskets off the initial offense over the final 12:18 of regulation.
Jackson had 9 points, 14 boards, no assists, 1 steal and 2 blocks. Not a bad night's work. But the Lynx-killers were guards Sue Bird and Wright with 40 points on 13-of-23 shooting, plus 14 assists and 6 steals.
Brunson and Augustus led Minnesota with 22 and 20 points. Brunson added 15 boards. But the Lynx perimeter starters of Augustus, Moore and Lindsay Whalen made just 13-of-48 shots. Whalen was 2-for-15. The Lynx bench was out-scored 18-9.