SEATTLE, WA - Undefeated Minnesota ran its winning streak to 12-0 in the young WNBA season, thanks to a franchise record 30 assists - 10 which came from Renee Montgomery- during a 96-84 win over the Seattle Storm.
The Storm jumped on Minnesota early in the first quarter, taking a 16-8 lead that would stretch to a 10-point advantage. Their offense was clicking, and proved too fast for the Lynx to immediately react.
Seattle battled for three straight quarters, but ultimately were defeated due to a disadvantage in size specifically in the paint. The Lynx dominated the boards with 35 rebounds, compared to Seattle's 23.
Minnesota's Maya Moore, led the Lynx with 18 points, eight assists, and seven rebounds. "We had to adjust to what it was they were trying to do," she said.
The Lynx offense was seamless and demonstrated strong execution on offense. Moore praised her team for staying together and sticking to the game plan despite a sluggish start and minor hiccups.
"The depth of this team really shows from Renee having 10 assists, Natasha coming in being 100% from the floor, Janel hitting a big three. People in different times just stepping in, it just feels good knowing that everyone can be involved and wants to be involved," Moore said.
Storm forward Breanna Stewart, who was named rookie of the week in the WNBA, found success offensively finishing with a game high of 21 points. A huge part of Minnesota's strength came from the size mismatch and rebounding abilities of Sylvia Fowles. She finished with six rebounds and 16 points. Stewart expressed her frustration in the paint battling Fowles.
"We tried to battle her as much as we could, but when you start doing one thing you sometimes let up in another," she said.
Seattle entered this game with confidence and a mindset to give the reigning champions a challenge.
"We know they are undefeated, and we knew they were a good team, but we wanted to give it our best shot and make it hard for them and make them compete. We did that for almost three quarters, but it's hard to come back from that when you're down almost 20 points," Stewart said.
The Storm now has a few days before they face the Connecticut Sun back in Key Arena on June 24.
Minnesota can celebrate this win but has what might be the toughest match-up of the season right around the corner. The Lynx face the Los Angeles Sparks on Tuesday; both teams are the only reaming undefeated teams in the WNBA. Minnesota coach Cheryl Reeves gladly accepts this win but understands a large focus needs to be placed on the Sparks.
"I told the team go enjoy the (NBA Finals), get something to eat and then we will put our attention on LA," Reeve's said.
"LA is a team that leads the league in offensive efficiency rating and defensive efficiency rating; that's what we pride ourselves in. It's two teams that pride themselves in exactly the same thing, and we are really excited for it. It is going to be a great game," Reeve's continued.
WNBA All-Star Moore, acknowledges the history made but truly believes the sky is the limit for her team.
"It's up to how we want to come out and play," she said. Moore also commented on facing LA. "We are excited to play this next game the momentum we have built throughout the course of the season but really this last game finishing how we did."
Moore feels the pressure of Tuesday's upcoming game but is up for the challenge: "That's all you can ask for is to be able to hold your own destiny in your own hands.”