May 31, 2012

The WNBA champion Minnesota Lynx have shown they can win big while jumping out to an undefeated start. The Lynx's victory proved they can also survive.

Lindsay Whalen put back her own miss with a second remaining to give Minnesota a 79-77 win over the Washington Mystics on Wednesday night after the Lynx blew a 24-point lead.

Maya Moore and Rebekkah Brunson led the Lynx (5-0) with 16 points and Seimone Augustus added 15. Minnesota shot 65.6 percent (21 of 32) in the first half and led 59-35 with 6:36 remaining in the third quarter before turnovers and inspired play by the Mystics changed the flow.

The Mystics used a 21-4 run to pull closer at 63-54 late in the third quarter, tied the game at 68 on Matee Ajavon's jumper with 6:27 remaining and took their first lead at 73-72 on Michelle Snow's layup with 3:25 left.

After an exchange of baskets, Whalen, who scored all 11 of her points in the second half and the Lynx' final seven, tied the game at 75 with a free throw. She hit two more with 42.9 seconds left after Minnesota extended a possession with three offensive rebounds.

Mystics forward Crystal Langhorne's layup with 25 seconds left tied it at 77. Whalen, the Lynx's point guard, found room on the right corner and attempted a driving runner that missed. After an ensuing rebounding scrum, the ball wound up back in the 5-foot-9 Whalen's hands near the basket. She did not miss her second chance at the win.

''I figured if I could just get in the lane, something good would happen,'' said Whalen, who finished with seven assists but six of the Lynx's 18 turnovers. ''I ended up missing the first one. Somehow the ball came back to me and I was able to get it up high enough to go in.''

Devereaux Peters blocked Mystics center Ashley Robinson's long jumper at the buzzer as the Lynx extended their franchise-record road-winning streak to seven games.

Ajavon led the Mystics (1-2) with 20 points, 14 coming in the second half.

Sky 77, Silver Stars 63

SAN ANTONIO (AP) -- Sylvia Fowles had 23 points and 12 rebounds, helping the Chicago Sky dominate the smaller San Antonio Silver Stars.

The Sky used their height advantage to rally and take control of the game. San Antonio started 6-foot-1 forwards Sophia Young and Danielle Adams against 6-6 Fowles and 6-5 Ruth Riley.

''Fowles is about as good as it gets at that position,'' San Antonio coach Dan Hughes said. ''We had to do things by team concept . . . we weren't strong enough. We just weren't strong enough to do that.''

The Sky outscored the Silver Stars 40-26 in the paint and 13-6 in second-chance points.

Becky Hammon finished with 21 points for San Antonio. Young had nine points and Danielle Robinson added 13.

Epiphanny Prince scored 22 points for the Sky, Swin Cash had 12 and Riley added 10.

Fowles had five straight points off post feeds from Courtney Vandersloot to give Chicago an 11-8 lead they would never relinquish.

''Every time,'' Sky coach Pokey Chatman yelled at Vandersloot. ''Every time. There is no answer for it. They're either going to double team or have play her straight.''

The Silver Stars subbed in 6-4 center Jayne Appel after Fowles was fouled to set up her fifth point. Appel put a temporary end to the Sky's inside dominance, grabbing an offensive rebound immediately after checking in.

''Jayne did an excellent job on that (offensive rebounding),'' Adams said. ''Just doing the little things, (like) hustling for the ball; we've just got to be better on that. It was a lot of little positives we can take

The Silver Stars were held scoreless for nearly five minutes in the second quarter while shooting 27.8 from the field during the period. Appel's layup with 56.5 seconds remaining was San Antonio's first points since Jia Perkins hit a 3-pointer at the 5:53 mark.

Fowles and Riley combined for seven rebounds and two blocked shots in the second quarter.

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