The Minnesota Lynx is closing in on another first-place finish in the Western Conference after taking down the Indiana Fever, 81-65, on Friday night. Fans were anxious to see what Minnesota could do after losing Lindsey Whalen last Sunday in the team's victory over Phoenix.
Although Whalen and Seimone Augustus, both starters for the Lynx, are out with injuries, the team showed they could still get the job done and remain hopeful that both players will return for the playoffs.
Minnesota held a 22-20 advantage after the first quarter, paced by Sylvia Fowles' seven points and five rebounds. The team shot 50% from behind the arc, led by Maya Moore, who was a perfect 2-2.
The Lynx outscored the Fever 19-12 in the second quarter to extend the halftime lead to nine, 41-32. Fowles continued to be a dominant force, leading the team with twelve points and eight rebounds.
Indiana was able to force ten turnovers in the first half, but struggled to capitalize off of those plays. However, it seemed to be Minnesota's 22-13 rebounding advantage at the half that ultimately made the difference in the score. Marissa Coleman paced the Fever in the first half with nine points, but the Lynx's defense allowed her to score just two points in the second quarter.
Minnesota pushed its lead to 14 after the third, leading 60-46, but the Fever looked ready for a comeback in the fourth, after Coleman drilled a three-pointer with 5:53 remaining to bring the team within ten.
Indiana continued its push after a Minnesota timeout, with Shenise Johnson knocking down a jumper to bring the game within eight. However, Tricia Liston scored five straight points, and assisted on a drive by Fowles, to force the Lynx's lead back up to 14.
Fowles led all scorers, finishing with a double-double, 18 points, and 14 rebounds. Rebekkah Brunson also contributed a double-double for Minnesota, with 14 points and 11 rebounds. Marissa Coleman paced the Fever with 16 points, while Tamika Catchings was just shy of a double-double, finishing with 10 points and nine rebounds.