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Recaps: Fowles makes history with monster stat line

Sylvia Fowles posted the fourth 20/20 game of her career, the fourth 25/20 game in WNBA history and the first of a specific stat line in the Minnesota Lynx’s Tuesday night win over the Seattle Storm. Plus, the Connecticut Sun clinched the playoffs and the Washington Mystics and Chicago Sky also secured wins.

Seattle Storm v Minnesota Lynx
Sylvia Fowles (right) is interview by ESPN’s Holly Rowe.
Photo by David Sherman/NBAE via Getty Images

Sylvia Fowles became the first WNBA player with at least 25 points, 20 rebounds and four steals in a game with 29, 20 and four to go along with three blocks in an important 76-70 Minnesota Lynx win over the Seattle Storm on Tuesday night at Target Center in Minneapolis.

Was it Fowles’ best performance of the season? It being a 20/20 game will lead most people to believe it was. But she had 30 points, 14 boards, four assists, four steals and four blocks in another important win in what was an epic battle against the league-favorite Las Vegas Aces on June 25. So six less rebounds in that one, but three more assists and those are harder to come by than rebounds.

It’s been two months since that monster performance against the Aces, which came two days after Fowles had 26 points, 19 boards and five blocks in a win over the Atlanta Dream after which she said, “no post do what I do.”

Since it’s been two months, we know that a typical Sylvia Fowles night in 2021 may not achieve monster status (she is tenth in the league in scoring at 16.6 points per game and is not really in the MVP discussion), but she is averaging a double-double and nearly two steals and two blocks per game. And she is 35 years old so for her to be doing what she is doing, and especially doing what she did Tuesday night, is incredible.

The Lynx were only up one with 7:17 to play before a Layshia Clarendon mid-range make and a Kayla McBride layup extended the lead to five. Seattle cut it to one again on an Ezi Magbegor layup with 3:31 to go, but Damiris Dantas answered with a clutch three 14 seconds later and then Napheesa Collier made a triple of her own that pushed the lead to seven with 2:05 remaining.

Magbegor would cut it to four with another layup at 14 seconds remaining, but it was too little too late. Collier free throws two seconds later made it 76-70 and Seattle was unable to score again.

The win improved fourth-place Minnesota’s record to 15-9 and dropped the third-place Storm to 18-8. The Lynx needed this one to boost their confidence after losing their last two games against the top three. Those losses came back-to-back to the Connecticut Sun on Aug. 17 and Aug. 19. The Lynx also snapped a seven-game losing streak against the Storm.

Fowles was so great in the contest that she made it seem like Breanna Stewart wasn’t the best player in the world, at least for one night, and Stewart even had 18 points, 16 rebounds and three blocks.

Collier matched Stewart with 18 points and was the only other double-figure scorer for the Lynx. Her five rebounds were second on the team as well, as Minnesota was actually outrebounded by Seattle 41-37 despite Fowles’ effort. Clarendon led the Lynx with six assists and recorded seven points.

Jewell Loyd notched 15 points and two steals in defeat and Sue Bird had 10 points and seven helpers.

The Lynx led by as many as 14 points early in the second before Seattle cut it to one midway through the third. A Fowles layup with 1:59 to go before the fourth increased Minnesota’s lead back to nine.

Other action

Connecticut Sun (18-6) over Las Vegas Aces (17-7), 76-62

The Sun have had the Aces’ number this year and improve to 3-0 head-to-head with this win. That is huge for a team that came in at No. 9 in our preseason power rankings. The Aces were first in those rankings. For all the struggles the Sun have had against the Storm, their success against the Aces is scary.

Their win and Seattle’s loss puts the Sun in first place, a full game ahead of the Aces and Storm. Connecticut has also clinched a playoff spot.

Connecticut entered the fourth up four and won the frame 18-8 with nine points coming from DeWanna Bonner (18 points, nine rebounds, four assists, three steals, two blocks), who had 31 points and 11 boards in the Sun’s previous game.

Bonner was absolutely spectacular. She drove from beyond the arc all the way past Liz Cambage for a layup that opened the scoring in the fourth with 7:54 to play and followed that with two free throws. Later, her deep three with 5:55 remaining pushed the lead to 11.

Brionna Jones backed up Bonner with 15 points, eight rebounds and four steals while Briann January (three assists, three steals) posted a season-high 19 points to pace Connecticut. Jonquel Jones had a quiet night scoring with just eight points but hauled in 10 rebounds. Jasmine Thomas notched eight points and six assists.

Chelsea Gray (three assists) led Vegas with 15 points while Cambage (six rebounds, two steals) and Dearica Hamby (two steals) both had 13. Reigning WNBA MVP A’ja Wilson was 1-of-15 from the field with just four points.

Washington Mystics (9-14) over Los Angeles Sparks (10-14), 78-68

The Mystics led by 37 in this one before LA was able to make it respectable. The Washington win moves it to only a half a game behind the Sparks and Dallas Wings for the eighth and final playoff spot.

Myisha Hines-Allen, an All-WNBA First Team player a year ago, led the Mystics with 19 points and added seven rebounds and three assists. Elena Delle Donne was good for 18 points in her second game back after scoring 16 in her return. Natasha Cloud had eight boards and eight assists while Ariel Atkins (two steals) and Shatori Walker-Kimbrough both had 10 points.

Nia Coffey tossed in 15 points in defeat while Nneka Ogwumike (six rebounds) was held to six points.

Chicago Sky (12-12) over Atlanta Dream (6-18), 86-79

Allie Quigley (seven rebounds, three assists) was 3-of-3 from distance and led Chicago with 21 points. Candace Parker added 18 points, nine rebounds, four assists and two blocks while Kahleah Copper was good for 16 points and four helpers. Courtney Vandersloot dished out a game-high 10 assists to go along with her 12 points.

Odyssey Sims (six rebounds, five assists, two steals) and Courtney Williams (six rebounds, four assists) had 17 and 16 points, respectively, in defeat.

Atlanta’s Crystal Bradford left this game in the third quarter with a foot injury.