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Can Lynx offense rise against struggling Fever?

Sportsnaut
Sep 7, 2018; Seattle, WA, USA; The WNBA logo on a ball during the fourth quarter of game one of the WNBA finals between the Seattle Storm and the Washington Mystics at KeyArena. Mandatory Credit: Jennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Jennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports

Losing center Sylvia Fowles indefinitely to a knee injury and getting blown out of two games has made this a bad week for the Minnesota Lynx, who hope to create some good news Sunday night in a home game against the league’s other last-place team, the Indiana Fever.

“We work hard. I don’t know, sometimes it just feels a little defeating,” Lynx guard Rachel Banham said after Minnesota’s 76-59 loss to Washington on Friday. “We have to keep working. I don’t know what else to say.”

Yet, without Fowles and her 16.5 points and 10.3 rebounds a game, the Lynx (3-10) are now without their anchor. Minnesota certainly missed her against Washington, as the Lynx made just 32.8 percent of their shots and only 6 of 21 from beyond the arc. Even the return of Moriah Jefferson and Damiras Dantas from injuries did little to change the team’s fortunes.

Coach Cheryl Reeve was quick to acknowledge the effect missing shots had on her team.

“You can only get so far before you get pretty discouraged that you can’t put the ball in the basket,” she said.

As for Indiana (3-12), the Fever’s main problem is preventing others from putting the ball in the bucket. Case in point: Friday night’s 97-83 home loss to New York, which poured in 59 second-half points to erase a five-point deficit and pull away.

It was the fifth straight loss for Indiana since a 101-96 decision over Los Angeles on May 27 in the debut of interim coach Carlos Knox. The Fever have permitted more than 88 points per game under Knox.

Also, injuries continue to affect Indiana. Emily Engstler, one of four promising rookies on the roster, left Friday night’s loss with a rib injury and her status for Sunday night isn’t known.

The Fever posted an 82-76 win last month over the Lynx in Indianapolis behind 26 points from Kelsey Mitchell, who’s averaging a team-high 18.7 ppg.

–Field Level Media