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WNBA Playoffs: Minnesota Lynx down 2-1 to Indiana in finals

The Minnesota Lynx seek to tie the series at two games apiece on Sunday night against Indiana.

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Lynx defeat Fever, 83-71

Seimone Augustus and Maya Moore dominated Minnesota's crucial Game 2 win.


Lynx have long break before WNBA Finals

Now that they've clinched their second-consecutive Western Conference Championship, the Minnesota Lynx can enjoy an extended rest before the WNBA Finals.

Coach Cheryl Reeve gave players a day off on Monday, following their big win on Sunday that propelled them into the finals. Said Reeve:

"We're beat and we're tired, both physically and mentally. One of the pleasing things about this break is that now we can start to breathe a bit. The calm is there to help us physically and mentally prepare for the next step."

And Reeve certainly knows how to prepare a team for the finals. In four seasons as an assistant coach for Detroit, the Shock made it to three WNBA finals.

The Lynx will play either Connecticut or Indiana on Sunday in Game 1 of the WNBA Finals. Minnesota will start its title defense at home at the Target Center in Minneapolis.


Lynx heading back to WNBA Finals

The Minnesota Lynx completed their sweep of the Los Angeles Sparks in the Western Conference finals of the WNBA Playoffs with a close 80-79 win at Staples Center on Sunday.

The Lynx trailed by eight points heading into the fourth quarter, but they made sure the series did not shift back to Minnesota by outscoring Los Angeles 23-14 in the final quarter.

Seimone Augustus and Maya Moore led the charge, with Augustus making 8-of-12 shots to score a team-high 21 points. Moore was right behind with 20 points.

The Sparks' Candace Parker rose to the occasion, scoring 33 points, but the rest of the team couldn't follow her lead down the stretch.

The Lynx are returning to the WNBA Finals where they will have a shot at getting back-to-back titles. They will face the winner of the Eastern Conference Finals between the Connecticut Sun and Indiana Fever. The Sun lead the best-of-three series 1-0.


Lynx move within a game of the WNBA finals

The Minnesota Lynx outscored the Los Angeles Sparks 32-16 in the second quarter on Thursday night as they won Game 1 by a final score of 94-77. The win puts the Lynx up 1-0 in the best of three western conference final, with Game 2 scheduled to be played Sunday in Los Angeles.

The Lynx were led by Maya Moore, who had 20 points to go along with five rebounds and five assists. Rebekkah Brunson chipped in with 14 points and 10 rebounds, and Seimone Augustus had 16 points, seven assists, and six rebounds for the game. The double-double was the third in four playoff games for Brunson.

Candice Parker led the Sparks with 25 points and 11 rebounds, and Alana Beard chipped in with 16 points of her own. The Lynx managed to slow down Kristi Toliver on Thursday, holding her to just 12 points in Game 1. Toliver had averaged 26 points per game in the Sparks western conference semifinal.

Game 2 will be played Sunday in Los Angeles, and the Lynx are just 4-21 all time in LA. The game is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. CT and will be aired on ABC.


Lynx prepare for tough Sparks offense

On Thursday, the Los Angeles Sparks will visit the Target Center for the first game of the best-of-three Western Conference finals against the Minnesota Lynx. It promises to be the marquee series of the entire season. Of course, there's the finals after this one, but the Sparks and Lynx are the two most decorated teams in the league. As the Star Tribune notes, the Sparks have a considerable amount of hype surrounding them, despite finishing second in the conference behind the Lynx.

That's likely due to the star power in Los Angeles. Canadace Parker was named the player of the month in the West four times out of a possible five this season. Teammate Kristi Toliver won the award in August, while Parker notched five player of the week titles as well. There's a lot of offensive firepower to go around.

Usually, the Lynx would be favored to win for a number of reasons. On one hand, they're no slouches when it comes to scoring and on the other, they're a great rebounding team with the ability to stifle offenses with superior schemes and a strong defensive roster. On the other hand, they may not be as favored due to the injury concerns surrounding Lindsay Whalen.

Whalen is the Lynx's star player, and she's nursing a broken finger (suffered at the London Olympics) and a bruised left wrist (her non-shooting hand), which she suffered in the first quarter of the team's win over Seattle on Tuesday. She came back and gutted that game out to seal the 73-72 win and isn't likely to miss time in the conference finals, but stemming the offensive tide of the Sparks could be a tougher challenge than usual.


Linsay Whalen nursing hand injuries, will play

Lindsay Whalen of the Minnesota Lynx has been playing some great basketball, and given the fact that she's playing through a broken finger and a bruised wrist, it makes it all the more impressive. The broken finger came during the London Olympics, according to the Pioneer Press, and the bruised wrist is a new injury, suffered in Game 3 of Minnesota's series against Seattle in the Western Conference semifinals.

Whalen was slow to get up in the first quarter of her team's 73-72 victory Tuesday, and had to get X-rays during the game. The X-rays showed no broken bones in her left wrist (her non-shooting hand), and she came back to the court to gut out the win. Next, the Lynx will move on to the conference finals against Los Angeles, on Thursday night at Target Center.

According to the piece, Whalen has been showing signs of the injuries at practice, throwing one-handed passes and given her left hand time to rest here and there. Still, it's not something that's going to keep her out when the conference finals roll around. Whalen will play the best-of-three series from the start, and only rest if games are truly locked away, or if the injury worsens.


Lynx advance to West finals with 73-72 victory

The Minnesota Lynx defeated the Seattle Storm 73-72 on Tuesday night to advance to the Western Conference Finals. The Storm had a chance to win the deciding game in the final seconds, but forward Lauren Jackson's turnaround jumper clanged off the rim.

Seimone Augustus led the Lynx with 21 points on 8-15 shooting on the field -- she also added four rebounds, three assists and two steals. Forward Maya Moore was right behind Augustus with 20 points to go along with six rebounds and two assists. Rebekkah Brunson was the third member of the Lynx in double digits, with 16 points to go along with a team leading nine rebounds.

The game was close to dead even for much of the game, with the Storm even tying the game on a Jackson jumper with 7:15 left in the fourth quarter. But the Lynx never relinquished the lead, eventually hanging on for a hard-won victory.

The Lynx will face the Los Angeles Sparks, who swept their division series, in the West finals.


Lynx face decisive Game 3 against Storm

The Minnesota Lynx will play host to the Seattle Storm in an elimination game on Tuesday night.

The defending-champion Lynx were also pushed to a Game 3 in the first round of the Western Conference playoffs last season. Forward Rebekkah Brunson hopes that having that experience will be a difference maker:

"We did put ourselves in a similar situation last year so we know that it's not over. We know if we come out on Tuesday night and play the way that we're supposed to play, and focus in, then we're in a good position."

But if they are going to have any chance at a repeat, Minnesota will have to improve on Sunday night's disappointing double-overtime loss. A win would advance the Lynx to the conference finals, where they'd take on the Los Angeles Sparks.

Minnesota should like its chances, since the team was a WNBA-best 16-1 at home this season. The Lynx also won three of their four regular season meetings with the Storm.

Still, the Storm came into the playoffs hot, winning three in a row to end the season.

Tuesday's game will air on ESPN 2.


Rubio buys 500 tickets in support of Lynx

Minnesota Timberwolves point guard Ricky Rubio has purchased 500 tickets for Tuesday's WNBA playoff game between the Minnesota Lynx and Seattle Storm.

The Lynx ticket office will allocate those upper-level seats to the public by giving a free pair to the first 250 people to call in. This same model was followed last season, when Rick Adelman and David Kahn, along with the Vikings, Twins and Wild, purchased tickets.

Of course, having fans purchase the tickets themselves would be the best option, but at least high-profile athletes and teams in the Twin Cities community are showing their support for the Lynx, who are a championship-level team once again this season. Rubio, along with Kevin Love, attended Game 1 of the series at Target Center, which was won by the Lynx. Love bought out 500 seats to give away for that game.

Minnesota lost a thriller in Game 2 in Seattle, setting the stage for Tuesday night's contest.

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