Surging Lynx close out first half vs. Wings (Jul 18, 2017)

BY AP • July 18, 2017

The Minnesota Lynx have won three WNBA titles in five Finals appearances over the past six seasons. They won at least 22 games in each of those years.

Last year, the Lynx were a league-best 28-6 during the regular season and lost a heartbreaking WNBA Finals to the Los Angeles Sparks.

They might be even better this season.

Minnesota (15-2), which is off to the best start in franchise history, hosts the Dallas Wings (10-11) on Wednesday afternoon at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minn.

"I'm just glad that we have been able to win through some of the mistakes and the growing pains that every team, every year, goes through," Minnesota All-Star guard Maya Moore told the team's website. "This year, we are working through our ups and downs, as every team is. To be able to do that while winning is encouraging for us, to know that we have what it takes to win every game that we play if we come with the highest amount of focus and energy."

Minnesota leads the WNBA in scoring offense (86.9 points) and defense (76.7).

The Lynx have won two in a row since a surprising 100-76 loss to the then-3-12 Chicago Sky.

On Sunday, Minnesota outscored the Phoenix Mercury 43-24 in the second half of its 81-66 win.

"The third quarter we were pretty good and got the flow that we wanted in the game," Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve told the website. "Our defense had to improve. It was one of those things where we probably over-coached. We were playing a team for the second time and wanted to make a few changes.

"We cleaned it up at halftime and got back to some of the things that were more effective in the pick-and-roll coverages. We played off of our defense, got some good flow and got great production off the bench."

The Wings outlasted Chicago in a 112-106 double-overtime win on Sunday to end a two-game skid.

Even with a season high in points, Dallas shot less than 40 percent from the field for the third straight game.

Wings guard Skylar Diggins-Smith saved the game with a 3-pointer that tied it with 3.4 seconds remaining in the first overtime.

"I felt it was going in," Diggins-Smith told the Dallas Morning News. "I haven't really been making very many of my threes these last few games. But I feel like I'm still shooting with confidence."

The win wasn't pretty, though, and coach Fred Williams focused on the 29 shots his team missed from within 5 feet of the rim.

"I think a lot of is sometimes the fear of contact and rushing it going in," Williams told the newspaper.

Diggins led Dallas with 26 points, and rookie Kaela Davis had a career-high 23 on 9-for-13 shooting.

"There was a lot of times we could have hung our heads and just thrown the towel in," Davis told the Morning News. "We didn't, and I think it shows a lot of character about this team."

After the Wednesday game, both teams will have six days off for the All-Star break. Minnesota's Sylvia Fowles and Maya Moore are All-Star Game starters for the Western Conference. Moore was the leading vote-getter among fans.

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