Led by Odyssey Sims, Minnesota Lynx race by Seattle Storm, 72-61
The Minnesota Lynx topped a sluggish Seattle Storm 72-61 Wednesday night at Target Center in front of 8,092 fans. Led by rookie forward Napheesa Collier, the home team held the Storm to just nine first quarter points, the same amount scored by Collier. The Lynx entered the second period with a 22-9 advantage.
The Storm performed better on the offensive end in the second quarter, scoring 15 points compared to 17 by the Lynx. However, because of their dismal first quarter, the Storm trailed by fifteen at the break. With a 39-24 lead at halftime, the Lynx were in a good position to finish out the game.
While the teams played a pretty even game in the third quarter, the Lynx outscored the Storm in the period 17-11.
Lynx guard Odyssey Sims led a quartet of Minnesota players in double figures. Sims scored 15, pulled down four rebounds and dished out five assists. Forward Damiris Dantas added 12 points plus five rebounds. Rookie forward Jessica Shepard came off the bench for 10 points and four rebounds. Guard Lexie Brown also scored 10 points.
Veteran center Sylvia Fowles led the Lynx in rebounding with a haul of 13 caroms as Minnesota outrebounded the Storm 39-23. Fowles pulled down 11 in the first half alone, one shy of her record for rebounds in a half.
Forward Natasha Howard carried the load for Seattle finishing with a game-high 18 points on 8-of-15 shooting plus five rebounds. Guard Jewell Loyd was also in double figures with 13 points plus five rebounds
The Lynx held the Storm to 36.4% shooting. It was the second game in a row that Minnesota held a team to 40% or lower. Seattle’s 61 points are the fewest Minnesota has allowed in a game since a 111-52 win over Indiana on Aug. 18, 2017.
“We wanted to stay solid, and try to make sure we rebounded the ball, that’s really it,” Sims said about the game. “We held them to a low field goal percentage, which was one of our goals. It wasn’t our best game offensively, but we held them to where we wanted to on the defensive end.”
Storm acting head coach Gary Kloppenburg discussed his team’s slow start.
“I thought we dug ourselves such a hole during that first quarter, and they came out with a lot of energy at home and we were a little sluggish to start the game,” he said. “We never really bounced back from that. We played really hard during the second half, but we could never make any ground on that. It’s hard when you shoot the ball in the 30’s when we’re a team that usually shoots in the mid-40’s, so it’s really difficult to win doing that. They play really hard and they play great defense as well.”
Seattle continues to travel with a game at Atlanta on Friday followed by a contest at Chicago on Saturday.