Lynx hang on to beat Storm, 74-69
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) With her team missing one its big scorers, Janel McCarville took charge for the Minnesota Lynx.
McCarville had a season-high 22 points and the short-handed Lynx beat the Seattle Storm 74-69 Sunday night.
Maya Moore added 14 points for the Lynx (12-5), who have won three of four. Devereaux Peters had 12 points and Lindsay Whalen scored 10.
Seimone Augustus, Minnesota’s second leading scorer at 17.2 points per game, missed the game due to bursitis in her left knee.
McCarville was just 2 of 10 for four points in the Lynx’s 81-71 loss at Seattle on Friday.
”When the first couple go in you always feel better seeing that,” said McCarville, who was averaging just 7.3 points coming in. ”They felt good in Seattle, too, but just didn’t go in. I think I had a little too much extra on them, they were kind of back-rimming. Today, a little height under it, a little raindrop and they went in.
”Seimone was out, Maya had a good game, but not a Maya game. Somebody had to step up and it just so happened to be my day.”
Sue Bird scored 21 points to lead Seattle (7-11) and Jenna O’Hea added 14. The Storm have lost four of six.
Defensively, McCarville limited Storm center Camille Little to just six points on 3-for-9 shooting. Little scored a career-high 31 points while shooting 11 for 15 in Friday’s contest.
”I thought for the most part I played decent on Friday, but she made some tough shots,” McCarville said. ”Tonight, I tried to keep her off the glass and limit her touches because if she can’t touch it she can’t score.”
Minnesota led by nine early in the fourth quarter before Seattle began to chip away.
A jumper by Angel Robinson gave the Storm a 63-62 lead with 3:26 to play, but Minnesota made five of six foul shots, including two by McCarville, who was fouled after grabbing a free-throw miss by Damiris Dantas for a 67-63 lead.
Leading 69-68, Whalen missed a jumper with 36.9 seconds to play to briefly silence the crowd, and Robinson was all alone underneath but missed a layup with 20.9 seconds left that would have given the Storm the lead.
”Although we did a great job and we feel good about coming back, it doesn’t feel so good to lose,” Bird said.
Whalen and Moore combined to make five free throws in the final 15.3 seconds to help the Lynx get the win.
”It felt good to grind one out. It took everything we had,” Minnesota coach Cheryl Reeve said. ”It’s understanding to exert maximum effort out there. Anything less than that and you lose. Teams bring their `A’ game and if you bring your `C’ game like we have in this last stretch you can’t win.”
After a 7-0 start, Minnesota lost five of its last nine.
Five Lynx players scored during a 17-4 run for a 38-24 lead with just under 2 minutes to go in the first half, but Bird made a pair of late 3-pointers to get the Storm to 42-32 at the break.
With a second-quarter rebound, Bird became the first player in league history with career totals of at least 4,000 points, 2,000 assists and 1,000 rebounds.
”She’s one of the greatest players to ever play in the league when you have records like that,” Storm coach Brian Agler said. ”She’s as good a person as she is a player.”