Minnesota Lynx take game one of the WNBA Finals
MINNEAPOLIS – The Minnesota Lynx took game one of the WNBA Finals 88-74 in front of a crowd of 15,258, the second-largest in Lynx history. Led by Rebekkah Brunson’s 26 points and 11 rebounds, the Lynx overcame a halftime deficit resulting from poor shooting and turnovers.
In the first quarter, the teams traded baskets, going back and forth to keep the score close. Veteran post player Taj McWilliams-Franklin made the first points of the game after the tip went to the Lynx. The Dream managed to earn a three-point lead at 6:41 after a jumper from Angel McCoughtry. Lynx rookie Maya Moore came right back with a three-point shot after a defensive rebound from Brunson put the ball in Minnesota’s hands. The teams continued to trade basket until the Dream pulled away in the last minute with jump shots from Moore and Candice Wiggins. At the end of the first quarter Atlanta led 18-14.
The Dream came out strong offensively with a three-point shot from Lindsey Harding in the second quarter. The Atlanta bench also pitched in with baskets from Coco Miller and Alison Bales. After Bales made a jump shot, Atlanta had a 12-point lead, 29-17. Near the end of the second quarter the Lynx began to get some offense going and closed the gap with shots from Augustus, Moore and Jessica Adair. At the half Atlanta led 39-36. Harding led all scorers with 16. Iziane Castro Marques had 10 for the Dream. Brunson and Augustus both had 9 for the Lynx.
Minnesota came out of halftime fired up as Brunson began the second half with back-to-back baskets, a turnaround bank shot and a 10-foot jumper. After an athletic and smooth one-handed reverse layup from Moore, the game was tied at 42. The Dream went on a 7-0 run but a foul on Brunson followed free throws, a lay-up and another free throw tied the game again. Overall, there were six lead changes in the third quarter. Dream guard McCoughtry set the WNBA record for most points in a quarter in the finals with 19. The period ended tied, 62 all.
The fourth quarter belonged to the Lynx as they built off of the momentum from the third. Whalen scored the first five points of the quarter for the Lynx. Atlanta never recovered and trailed the entire quarter. The Lynx’s lead went into double digits at 6:09 after a defensive rebound by McWilliams-Franklin led to a driving layup by Brunson, assisted Augustus.
Game two of the best-of-five series is also in Minnesota on Wednesday.