Monday WNBA Links: How Minnesota Beat Atlanta In An "Instant Classic", Playoff Picture Taking Shape

This has already been mentioned elsewhere, but if you happened to miss Friday night's overtime thriller between the Atlanta Dream and Minnesota Lynx you should go back in the WNBA LiveAccess archives and check it out. It was an instant classic unlike any other game this season if only because it was played at such a high level if nothing else.

It's almost hard not to start the recap of the weekend's 11 games without that game at the top, but we'll still go in reverse chronological order just to attempt to bring some coherence to what happened...and keep the Lynx at the top (for summaries of what happened in Atlanta or New York, check out what James, Ray, and Queenie wrote elsewhere on the site).

Sunday

  • Mike Peden of the Examiner writes that even with Seimone Augustus out with a sprained right foot suffered during the epic double overtime game against Atlanta on Friday night the Minnesota Lynx were able to pull out an 81- 62 win over the San Antonio Silver Stars on Sunday. With the win, the Minnesota Lynx clinched the first seed in the Western Conference with their win over the San Antonio Silver Stars yesterday by virtue of a tie breaker with the L.A. Sparks. Read more >>>
  • Brian Girasoli of the Norwich Bulletin reports that staying positive in the huddle and getting stops helped the Sun mount a third quarter rally to defeat the Chicago Sky yesterday. The Sky's collapse then followed a familiar narrative: they had 7 turnovers in the fourth quarter, with four coming in a 2.5 minute span during which the game went from a tie to a seven point Sun lead. Read more >>>
  • James Oldham of the Indianapolis Star reports that Katie Douglas became just the 10th player in WNBA history to amass 5,000 points in her career during her 30-point performance in yesterday's win against the Phoenix Mercury. Meanwhile, Indiana also broke its single-season record for 3-pointers with 230. Read more >>>

Saturday

  • Josh Haley of the Tulsa World reports that Tulsa Shock coach Gary Kloppenburg thinks that the Seattle Storm are, "the one team that we haven't been close to." The Storm out shot 58%-33% in their 89-66 win in Tulsa on Saturday. Read more >>>

Friday

  • Richard Cohen of the WNBA Alien blog astutely observed what ultimately made the difference in the Minnesota Lynx' thrilling double overtime win against the Atlanta Dream on Friday night: cutting down on turnovers. In the first half, the Dream benefited from 9 Lynx turnovers that contributed to 14 fast break points; in the second half and two overtime periods combined (10 extra minutes), the Lynx committed 10 turnovers and had only 2 fast break points. Impressively, the Dream didn't stagnate entirely - they still got to the rim for easy scoring opportunities but the interior defense of the Lynx forced a lot more contested shots as the Lynx offense finally found a rhythm. Read more >>>
  • Louis Nelson of the Washington Post reported that the Washington Mystics made the decision to give their younger players some playing time in the second half of Friday's loss to the Los Angeles Sparks after finding themselves down by 15 points at halftime. It was former Mystics player Alana Beard's first game back in D.C. and she said it was hard to even tell who the crowd was cheering for. Read more >>>
  • Tracy Jusay of Sports Page Magazine reports that the New York Liberty were disappointed with their defensive effort on Friday night against the Chicago Sky, which would explain in part why the Sky shot over 50% from the field in a 92-83 win that helped them keep pace in the Eastern Conference playoff race. But the other part was a slow start that saw them get down by 8 points within the first two minutes of the game. Read more >>>
  • Terrence Thomas of the San Antonio Express-News reported that the Silver Stars had Friday's game against the Indiana Fever under control until Tamika Catchings took over and scored 8 points of her game-high 26 points in the final four minutes to hand San Antonio its fourth straight loss. Read more >>>
  • Kristofer Habbas of SB Nation Arizona wrote that the Phoenix Mercury's, "...team team effort against the Connecticut Sun was one of those truly great moments." Bonner had her third 30-point game of the season on Friday night, hitting a career-high 6 3-pointers in a 92-82 road win for the Mercury. Read more >>>
  • Mel Greenberg summed up the women's basketball inductions at Friday's Hall of Fame ceremony and also reports that Dawn Staley may get the nod for one of two women's basketball nominations next time around. Read more >>>

As usual, there were other links from the weekend that were worthwhile reads as this was just a recap of the most decisive factors from this weekend's games. But feel free to drop additional links in the comments along with your insights and anything else.

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