Augustus helps Lynx rally past Sky in OT

CHICAGO (AP) — Seimone Augustus scored 27 points, including the tiebreaking 3-pointer with 26.9 seconds left in overtime to lead the Minnesota Lynx to an 87-82 victory over the Chicago Sky on Saturday.

Lindsay Whalen had 19 points, seven assists and seven rebounds, Charde Houston added 17 points and Monica Wright added 11 to help the Lynx (10-16) rally from a 10-point deficit in the fourth quarter.

Jia Perkins led Chicago (12-17) with 16 points and Sylvia Fowles had 14 points and 11 rebounds. Dominique Canty added 13 points and Tamera Young scored 10 as the Sky lost their season-high fifth straight.

Minnesota trailed by 16 at halftime and had runs of 12-0 to open the third quarter and 17-2 to begin the fourth.

“We chipped away and had it to six,” Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve said. “Then they went on a run and it was back to 10, back to 11. We knew that if we dug in defensively and got the rebounds we would be able to push it and get some stops.”

Augustus’ jumper with 1 minute left in OT gave the Lynx an 80-79 lead. Fowles made 1 of 2 free throws to tie the score about 20 seconds later.

After Augustus’ go-ahead 3, Fowles made a layup to pull the Sky to 83-82 with 19.3 seconds to go. Whalen then made two free throws 3 seconds later to put Minnesota up by three again.

Perkins missed a potential tying 3 with 10.9 seconds remaining. Whalen got the rebound and was fouled by Canty, and made two more from the line to seal the win.

“We wanted to be more aggressive on the defensive end and force them into bad shots,” Augustus said. “They did a great job of offensive rebounding in the first half. I think we eliminated some of that in the second half and that was the difference in the game.”

Chicago was 1 for 13 from the field in the fourth quarter, and finished 26 for 70 (37 percent) overall — including 10 for 24 on 3s. The Sky, last in the Eastern Conference, dropped five games behind Washington and New York for third.

“We had it up 16 points, came out flat in the third quarter,” Chicago coach Steven Key said. “You allow a 10-0 run, an 11-2 run because you think you have done enough to win a game. Twenty minutes is nothing, I don’t know why we are complacent. We are still fighting for an opportunity, if somebody makes a mistake. for a playoff spot. I don’t know why we are getting complacent (after) we have 20 minutes of good basketball.”

Trailing 66-56 at the start of the fourth quarter, the Lynx rallied and took a 69-68 lead on Nicky Anoskie’s layup with 6:16 to go.

“It’s frustrating for us you know when we have the lead and you know you have to figure out a way to keep it,” Perkins said.

Perkins hit a jumper with 3:31 remaining — Chicago’s only field goal of the fourth quarter — to pull to 73-70. Fowles made one free throw and Canty hit two to tie the score with 2 minutes left, and neither team scored again in regulation.

Minnesota trailed 49-33 at halftime, and then held Chicago to 24 points in the third and fourth quarters.

“It’s not so much what I said,” Reeve said. “It’s more what they say to each other. … They knew they weren’t competing at a level that they need to compete at. We just didn’t have that bounce in our step. We are really good when we can play off of our defense.”

Augustus scored seven points as the Lynx scored the first 12 points of the third quarter over the first 3 minutes.

“They came out with a sense of urgency and they picked it up on the defensive end,” Perkins said. “I think we started playing a little faster and we had to adjust and just continue to play our game no matter what they come out with.”

Shay Murphy and Perkins responded with consecutive 3s to push the Sky’s lead back to double digits a minute later. Wright hit a 3 and Anosike made 3 of 4 free throws to pull the Lynx to 57-53 with 3:49 remaining in the period.

Chicago then had an 8-1 run to take a 65-54 lead on Fowles’ turnaround jumper with about 1 minutes left.

Updated August 7, 2010