A 35-of-43 night at the line couldn't save the Minnesota Lynx from falling to 2-7 with an 85-83 loss to the Los Angeles Sparks (4-6) Sunday at Target Center.
The Lynx never led, but came back from down 17 to tie the game on a Moriah Jefferson three with 8:22 to go. From there, the Sparks went on a 9-0 run. Minnesota would tie it again with 26 seconds to go on a Rachel Banham free throw line jumper, but Kayla McBride missed a mid-range look to tie with two seconds left.
When asked what it’s going to take to turn a close loss like this into a win, Minnesota head coach Cheryl Reeve said with no hesitation, “Attention to detail.
“As I just shared with (my players). We can’t draw up plays at a timeout and have veteran players in the wrong spot. That doesn’t take talent. That’s attention to detail. Multiply that and that’s our problem.”
McBride, who scored a team-high 19 points in defeat, thinks the team is still trying to find its identity and that part of the reason is because she arrived late. The team was 0-4 without her.
One reporter noticed Sylvia Fowles giving a passionate postgame speech to the team and asked Banham about it at the postgame press conference.
“We always huddle, but I definitely think she was a lot more passionate. Because we need to have more of a sense of urgency right now and we gotta figure it out. And game like this is a heartbreaker, especially at home. This is when you need to win your games. ... So she was just saying we gotta go, keep sticking together, but we gotta step it up and we gotta start doing the little things better.”
“We just played nine games, we have 27 left,” McBride said. “Now we go on the road for three games. And that’s the beauty of this league is that we do have another game soon. But these little mistakes and these little droughts that we have is costing us right now. And we gotta find a way to put it together. There is no excuses. I don't want anybody feeling sorry for us. I don't feel sorry for myself. None of (us) feel sorry. We gotta get back to work and get back to feeling confident on both ends of the floor.
“I hate losing. I hate it. I don't want to lose, especially for this team, this organization. You see Seimone (Augustus) out there getting her jersey retired and knowing what her and so many others have built, you want to continue to build on that.”