Lynx smash the Dream, 86-70
The Lynx defeated the Atlanta Dream 86-70 tonight, marking their sixth-straight win against the Dream at Target Center. Minnesota is now 7-1 on the season when scoring 80+ points and 8-2 when holding teams below 80 points. The Lynx take a 1-0 lead in the season series over Atlanta and improve to 10-5 in the all-time series.
Maya Moore finished tonight’s contest with 21 points to extend her franchise-record streak of consecutive games with 20+ points to 10, which ranks as the second-longest such run in WNBA history. Diana Taurasi ranks first having gone 12 consecutive games with 20+ points in a single-season (July 22, 2006-Aug. 13-2006). Moore also added 10 rebounds and five assists, marking her fifth double-double of the season (26th career) .
Minnesota forced 20 turnovers, converting those into 23 points. The Lynx have now forced 20+ turnovers in two straight games, having forced 20+ just once in the first 16 games and have scored 20+ points off turnovers in each of the last three games.
The Lynx dealt 23 assists in tonight’s contest, marking their second-highest total of the season having dealt 25 at Los Angeles on June 16. Renee Montgomery dished out nine assists, marking a team-season-high and her best since dishing a career-high-tying 10 for Connecticut on July 19, 2011 vs. New York.
Minnesota’s reserves contributed 26 points, marking its second-highest total of the season (26 vs. Seattle, June 11) and fourth time this season with 20+ points. Asjha Jones led the bench with 12 points, six rebounds and three assists. Tricia Liston played a career- and game-high 32 minutes, posting 10 points, three assists and two rebounds, while Devereaux Peters chipped in four points and three rebounds.
Minnesota outscored the Dream 48-34 in the paint. The 48 paint points are two shy of their season high set on opening night vs. Tulsa. Minnesota has now won 34 of their last 36 when scoring more than 40 paint points.
Former Lynx players Damiris Dantas and Reshanda Gray returned to the Target Center with Atlanta tonight. Damiris started the game and posted nine points and five rebounds, while Reshanda finished with seven points and six rebounds.
The Lynx will travel to Tulsa on Saturday, Aug. 1 to wrap-up the season series. Minnesota currently leads the series 2-1. Atlanta heads home to host the Phoenix Mercury on Sunday.
Minnesota Lynx head coach Cheryl Reeve
“I think that was a great first quarter for us where we’d come out and were really on our game plan. I thought we were terrific defensively. As the game wore on, not as good, we lost our focus a little bit. I just told the team, we’re always happy with a win, especially at home. I want us to want to be better and be disciplined, and I thought we got away from that throughout the course of the game, but we’re handling things that are being thrown our way really well tonight. I told Tricia, her minutes, obviously, were huge – playing a team-high 32 minutes and she worked all week on some things offensively that came to fruition for her today, so that was fun to watch. I thought Renee Montgomery’s floor game was really good, she’s learning as she’s going, too. I thought she put us in some really good spots.”
On Sylvia’s game early on…
“…I thought she did that really well. Like I said, both ends, and I thought that in terms of defensive game play, what our focus was, I thought [Sylvia] was really locked in to where she could be helpful to some of the penetration situations. She runs the floor really, really well. I just talked with her and she’s feeling really good. It was exciting to fun the floor like she did and got some deep opportunities. She just wants to keep getting better and better each time she plays for us.”
“The thing that you have to resist the urge to do, especially when you’re 6’6, is kind of hunting blocked shots with these guys, because these guys get to your bodies and they try to draw fouls. I think when we had the notion that if we just kind of stayed straight up and altered versus trying to block or take it from them – we were more successful with that. I thought Sylvia had really good attention to that early on in the game.”
Minnesota Lynx Maya Moore
On Sylvia’s game…
“She got an and-one to start the game, I mean what bigger way to set the tone finishing at the rim with contact. That’s just what she provides for us. Everybody, actually, we were talking about it after the game, everybody kind of got involved in the block party today. I think even Renee had a block and Tricia had a block. I apparently didn’t get the invitation. I think I was the only player that played significant minutes without a block, but it was a good defensive effort from everybody. I thought we were all pretty locked in for the most part to helping each other.”
“She’s having fun and is confident in who she is. Until somebody stops you, keep going.”
Minnesota Lynx Lindsay Whalen
On Sylvia’s game…
“I thought that first and-one was big, it was a good, aggressive take when you get that and-one right off the start. I saw her take off with the dribble, too, you don’t see that too often from too many post players. Luckily, we have a bunch that can do that and it ended up getting us off to a good start after a couple of tough possessions, so it ended up being good for us.”
“…We had a practice yesterday, we had shoot around this morning, so any time you get more time together, it’s good and things are going to be good for us. I agree that’s just going to be better with all the new faces we have.”
“I’ve gotten a couple of those in the last couple games, just people being aggressive and tipping and then I’m taking off, so it’s good.”
Atlanta Dream head coach Michael Cooper
“They showed why they’re a championship-type team. They’re a team that really committed to their offense, they execute their offense well… we just didn’t make it difficult for them tonight.”
On the physicality of the game…
“It was a physical game. The acquisition of Sylvia Fowles makes them look a lot different. I think she picks up the slack where a player when Seimone Augustus is out, they’ve got somebody else they can go to, but again, one of the things she’s very good at – she’s very good at rebounding and the physical play underneath. Now that they’ve got that aspect to their game, it makes them that much tougher to deal with.”
Atlanta Dream Reshanda Gray
On returning to the Target Center…
“It’s just like any other game. It’s nice to get a standing ovation from crowd, I really appreciate that. It was just nice playing back here to the team where I got drafted from, but I’m just trying to focus on this team now. I’m just trying to get a W hopefully.”
On the pace of the game…
“The mindset going into the second half is just we have to be more consistent… as you can see we probably didn’t get any calls, but we’ve just got to learn how to play through things like that.”
On her games as a Dream player…
“I’m just doing my job. I’m just trying to do my job to the fullest. I got traded to bring energy, be that blast, and just be the best Reshanda Gray as possible and that’s what I’m trying to do.”
By the Numbers
Points in the Paint: Dream 34, Lynx 48
Second Chance Points: Dream 11, Lynx 10
Fastbreak Points: Dream 10, Lynx 14
Biggest Lead: Dream 0, Lynx 21
Lead Changes: 0
Times Tied: 1