The Minnesota Lynx, living up to their nickname, scrapped and clawed on Sunday afternoon but their effort, including 19 points from Odyssey Sims, was not enough to clinch victory over the Las Vegas Aces. A season-high 22 points from Liz Cambage, along with 20 from Kayla McBride, allowed the Aces to prevail, 79-74. Cambage also pulled down 13 rebounds, making it a double-double performance.
In the early going, it appeared that the Aces may cruise to a relatively easy win, even without the #bootbaddie A’ja Wilson. But Swish Appeal favorite Dearica Hamby stepped up in her stead, strategically and successfully diving to the basket throughout the first quarter.
Yet, even with Sylvia Fowles sitting much of the second quarter with three fouls, the Lynx stayed in the game. Due to the aggression of Sims, and the sharpshooting of Stephanie Talbot, Minnesota only trailed by two at the half, 39-37.
After relatively an ugly and foul-filled third quarter, the Aces regained momentum during the fourth. Several times, Cambage out-battled Fowles to convert some crucial buckets, situating Vegas to seal the win.
However, the Aces’ victory may have come at a cost. Sydney Colson left the game with what appeared to be a severely sprained ankle. Additionally, Cambage played a season-high 32 minutes, while Dearica Hamby played nearly 38. When the Aces take on the Storm on Tuesday night, they may suffer the effects of this Sunday afternoon effort.
Johannès-sanity? The rookie from France showed out on Saturday afternoon, going a perfect 6-of-6 from the floor, including 4-of-4 from three. Her 17 points led the Liberty past the short-handed Sparks.
Phoenix defeated Dallas for the second time this week behind 17 points and eight rebounds from Brittney Griner and 14 points and 7 boards from DeWanna Bonner.
Masked EDD is dangerous! Delle Donne shot 77 percent from the field, including a perfect 4-of-4 from three, on her way to 28 points and eight rebounds. If that wasn’t enough, 17 points from Aerial Powers further ensured the Mystics’ destruction of the Dream.
After scoring only 27 points in the first half, the Sky exploded in the second to win their fourth straight game. Allie Quiqley and Stefanie Dolson scored 19 points apiece, while Courtney Vandersloot tossed a season-high 14 assists.
Where things stand
Although still outside the playoff picture, the Liberty now solidly sit in ninth-place with a push for the eighth seed in the second half of the season not inconceivable. A second-straight loss dropped the Lynx into that eighth spot, just behind the Mercury. The Sky’s winning streak has them in fifth place, a half-game ahead of the Sparks. The Aces, meanwhile, remain the two-seed over the Mystics, who are third. The Connecticut Sun, tied with the Aces at a 12-6 record, have reclaimed the top spot.
The Dream and Wings, mired in extended losing streaks, sit at the bottom of the standings.
The impending All-Star break makes for a short week but that doesn’t make the total of five games on Tuesday and Wednesday insignificant. In particular, both Atlanta and Indiana will seek to stall their recent slides on Tuesday. On Wednesday, the Sun can strengthen their hold on the top spot in the standings with a mid-morning victory over the Liberty. That afternoon, the Mystics and Lynx will meet in what should be a fun matchup.