The Minnesota Lynx’s extra work last week paid off with a with a win. Now Cheryl Reeve’s team will try go back to back.
“I told the team it had to feel good to put the kind of work we did this week to carry over into the game,” Reeve told the (St. Paul) Pioneer Press after her team downed the New York Liberty 85-71 on Saturday. “Our goal was to be much harder to play against.”
The Lynx (4-6), who have won two in a row just once in the season’s first 10 games, host the Dallas Wings (5-4) on Tuesday at the Target Center in Minneapolis.
One win, Reeve said, won’t strike fear in the hearts of opponents.
“I don’t think any of us sit here and say, ‘Well, they won a game so everything’s OK, they’re back.’ I think that would be a mistake,” she said Monday. “Like I told them, was that just one game? Was that just because we worked hard and had a lot of focus? Now, what about the next game?”
Minnesota will have to contend with the Wings’ inside-outside duo of Liz Cambage, the WNBA’s second leading rebounder (10.8 per game), and Skylar Diggins-Smith, who is tops in the league at 21.9 points per game.
Cambage likely remembers the last time she faced Minnesota center Sylvia Fowles, who leads the league in rebounding again this year. The reigning MVP had 23 points and 20 rebounds in a 76-68 Lynx win on May 23.
Playing without Seimone Augustes on Saturday, Minnesota got 45 points from its biggest stars, Fowles and Maya Moore.
“It’s a veteran team,” Fowles said after scoring a season-high 25 points. “More of our conversation was ‘we’ve been here, we know what it takes.’ … It was more of, ‘we’re tired of this.'”
Moore had 20 points, six rebounds and four assists.
“That’s what we need from them, as the go-to players,” Reeve said.
Dallas is coming off a 78-68 win over Las Vegas in which Cambage certainly wasn’t looking ahead to Tuesday’s matchup. The Wings center tied a career high (28 points) and set another (18 rebounds) in the win.
“She is capable of being a double-double player,” Dallas coach Fred Williams said. “Each game, she gets into the rhythm of scoring with her offensive moves and shooting touch. That’s the reason why we signed her — scoring and rebound. She demonstrated that tonight.”
It was the fourth in five games that Cambage has topped 20 points. The 6-foot-8 Australian returned to the WNBA this season after five years playing abroad.