The No. 3 seed Connecticut Sun opened the 2023 WNBA postseason with a dominant win over the No. 6 Minnesota Lynx, 90-60, and are now one game from advancing to the league semifinals. Game 2 of the series will tipoff at 1 p.m. ET on Sunday, Sep. 17, and will be broadcast nationally on ESPN.
The Sun’s effort in their first game against the Lynx was, in a word, magnificent. While the hallmarks of what made Connecticut such a tough opponent during the 2023 regular season were certainly there—13 steals, a 36-32 rebounding edge and a 15-point, 10-assist double-double from forward Alyssa Thomas—what made the Sun’s victory particularly impressive was their hot outside shooting. The Sun, who were around the middle of the pack in terms of total offense derived from 3-point shooting during the regular season (29.4 percent 3-point attempt rate and 26 percent of their points coming on 3-pointers), caught fire in Game 1, knocking down 16-of-30 long-range attempts. That figure was a historic one, setting a Sun record for 3-point makes in a playoff game.
As unlikely as another 3-point barrage from Connecticut may be in Game 2, the Sun still are in the driver’s seat to win the series. The play of Thomas and DeWanna Bonner (17 points, 15 rebounds and six assists in Game 1) has been tough for the Lynx to match all season long, especially when their own star player in Napheesa Collier struggles to asset herself. Collier, who put together an All-WNBA-caliber regular season, was relatively quiet in Game 1, scoring 14 points in 33 minutes.
Collier didn’t have much help, either. Outside of Kayla McBride (team-high 16 points), the rest of the Lynx were flat offensively, with rookies Diamond Miller and Dorka Juhász combining to shoot 4-for-12 from the field and starting guard Tiffany Mitchell going scoreless.
Needless to say, Minnesota will need stronger offensive contributions from up and down the roster (in addition to friendlier variance on Connecticut’s 3-point shooting) to even up the series. Should the Lynx prevail on Sunday, the series will head to Minnesota for a deciding Game 3, but there’s quite a bit for the Lynx to clean up before they can make that a reality.
No. 6 seed Minnesota Lynx (0-1) vs. No. 3 seed Connecticut Sun (1-0)
When: 1 p.m. ET
Where: Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, CT
How to watch: ESPN
Lynx injury report: Jessica Shepard (doubtful; left ankle), Lindsay Allen (out; left thumb), Natalie Achonwa (not with team; maternity leave)
Sun injury report: Brionna Jones (out; right Achilles)