Lynx Come Back in Fourth to Beat Sun in Season Opener
The Minnesota Lynx overcame some early growing pains and mounted a major comeback in the final quarter of their season opener against the Connecticut Sun at IMG Academy on Sunday.
The Lynx struggled mightily in the first half. Minnesota netted the first basket of the first quarter, but that was the only time they held the lead until the final quarter. Connecticut kept the Lynx on the ropes and by the end of the quarter, Minnesota trailed 19-12.
The Sun dropped the first bucket of the second quarter, but then Minnesota made up some ground, pulling the score to 25-18 on a 7-3 run. The Lynx closed the gap to three, but Connecticut pushed their lead back out to 37-28 by the end of the half. Minnesota scored the club’s fewest points in the first half since 2016.
In the third quarter, the Lynx outscored the Sun 22-20 to chip away at Connecticut’s lead. Damiris Dantas scored the team’s first three-pointer of the game to close the gap to five. The Sun snuck in one more basket and led Minnesota 57-50 entering the final frame.
The Lynx made their game-winning comeback in the fourth quarter. Second-round draft pick and UConn graduate point guard Crystal Dangerfield proved to be the difference-maker in those late minutes. Minnesota went on a 9-2 run to grab the lead 60-59 with plenty of time remaining. The Sun caught up 65-65 not long after, but the Lynx fought to the finish to walk away with the win 77-69.
Sylvia Fowles led the team in scoring with 17 points and 18 rebounds. Shenise Johnson added 13 points for the Lynx. Last season's rookie of the year Napheesa Collier scored 11 points and snagged eight rebounds despite fouling out late in the fourth. In her Minnesota debut, Dangerfield scored 10 points in her 20 minutes on the court.
The Lynx improve to 1-0. They will look to keep that momentum going on Tuesday when they face the 2018 champion Seattle Storm at 9:00 p.m. The Storm are also 1-0 thanks to the return of starters Sue Bird and Breanna Stewart.