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Aerial Powers pours in 35 as Lynx top Mercury in 2 OTs

Sep 29, 2020; Bradenton, Florida, USA; A game ball waits on a sanitation cart during game 5 of the WNBA semifinals between the Connecticut Suns and the Las Vegas Aces at IMG Academy. Mandatory Credit: Mary Holt-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Mary Holt-USA TODAY Sports

Aerial Powers poured in a career-high 35 points and grabbed 13 rebounds, leading the Minnesota Lynx to a 118-107 double overtime victory over the Phoenix Mercury on Tuesday in Minneapolis.

Phoenix’s Skylar Diggins-Smith made a game-tying bucket at the buzzer ending the first overtime, but the Lynx scored the first seven points of the second OT to pull away.

Rachel Banham supplied 25 points and seven assists for the Lynx (9-15), who won their third game in a row. Kayla McBride had 17 points, Sylvia Fowles contributed 14 points and 14 rebounds, and Jessica Shepard chipped in with 13 points with 12 rebounds.

Sophie Cunningham led the Mercury (10-15) with a career-best 36 points and added seven rebounds and five steals. Skylar Diggins-Smith logged a season-high 32 points and 10 assists, and Diana Taurasi had 17 points as Phoenix fell for the third time in four games.

Minnesota held a 47-45 halftime advantage.

Diggins-Smith made two free throws with two seconds remaining in the third quarter to give the Mercury a 68-67 lead. She also drained a 3-pointer in the opening minute of the fourth for a two-point edge.

The Lynx then erupted with a 15-0 run. Banham hit back-to-back 3-pointers, sandwiched by Fowles layups. Banham then set up Shepard for two consecutive baskets. Fowles added a free throw to make it 84-71 with 4:51 to go.

Phoenix then made a spirited run, closing the gap to one point with 12 unanswered points. Cunningham scored eight during that span. After a pair of Lynx free throws, Diggins-Smith tied it with 1:09 left on a 3-pointer.

Powers scored on a putback of a missed free throw with 29.6 seconds remaining to put Minnesota on top 88-86. A Banham free throw nudged the lead to three points, but Cunningham sent the game to overtime at 89-89 by sinking a 3-pointer with four seconds left.

Banham scored the first five points of the initial overtime session. McBride hit a jumper with two minutes left for a 98-93 Minnesota lead.

Cunningham cut the Lynx’s advantage to 99-98 on a layup with 25.9 seconds to play. Powers made two free throws but Cunningham tied it once again with a 3-pointer.

McBride hit two free throws with two seconds left before Diggins-Smith’s drained a trey to force another five-minute session.

The Lynx’s runaway early in the second OT included another Banham 3-pointer. This time, the Mercury couldn’t recover as they never got closer than five points again.

–Field Level Media