The Seattle Storm are playing their best basketball of the season.
The Minnesota Lynx are playing some of their worst.
Those two teams will meet Friday night in Seattle in the first of two head-to-head matchups in three nights, with the next game on Sunday in Minneapolis.
Seattle (9-21) has won three of its last four and five of its last seven.
“I think right now we’re just learning and growing up,” Storm coach Noelle Quinn said. “We’re playing at a very high level and very positive with each other and understanding the roles and what we need from each other. … Nothing has wavered as far as the team’s camaraderie and energy toward each other.”
Seattle has been able to count all season on the scoring of Jewell Loyd, the WNBA’s leading scorer at 24.1 points per game. But recently she has been getting more help. Seattle’s bench chipped in 28 points in an 81-71 win against the Phoenix Mercury on Sunday.
“I have all the confidence in everyone on the team,” Loyd said after scoring a team-high 24 points.
The Lynx (14-16) began the season by losing their first six games before fighting back to .500 after a five-game win streak in late June-early July. Minnesota’s current slide includes a 91-73 loss at last-place Indiana in their most recent game on Aug. 10.
“This is not the way you want to go into a few days off. Nobody feels good about it,” said Jessica Shepard, who had 13 points and seven rebounds in the loss.
Indiana had a 39-26 rebounding edge — including 13-7 on the offensive glass — and Minnesota was outscored 34-18 in the paint.
“We’re not a team that can just show up and play the game,” Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve said. “You’ve got to show up and you’ve got to compete. You’ve got to have a level of passion, a level of connectedness that Indiana had that we lacked the entire time.”
The Fever starters outscored the Lynx starters 75-42.
“It just was an overall gross game,” said Rachel Banham, who came off the bench to lead Minnesota with 18 points. “Collectively, we did not want it enough and they very much did and it showed.”
—Field Level Media
Original source here
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