Sylvia Fowles ended her illustrious career by totaling 10 points and 12 rebounds as the Minnesota Lynx were eliminated from the postseason with a 90-83 loss to the host Connecticut Sun on Sunday afternoon in Uncasville, Conn.
Minnesota (14-22) needed to win and also receive outside help. A win in conjunction with losses by New York and Phoenix would have given the Lynx one of the final two seeds in the eight-team field but they will instead miss the playoffs for the first time since 2010.
The two-time WNBA Finals MVP exited to a warm ovation and embraced coach Cheryl Reeve on the sideline when she checked out for the final time with 43.2 seconds left after Minnesota’s comeback bid fell short.
The 36-year-old Fowles, the WNBA’s all-time double-doubles leader, missed her first six shots and ended her career with 193 double-doubles.
Alyssa Thomas led five players in double figures with 16 points for the third-seeded Sun (25-11), who are the third seed and start the playoffs against the Dallas Wings. Brionna Jones and Natisha Hiedeman added 15 points while Jonquel Jones chipped in 12 as the Sun led by as many as 19 and shot 52.9 percent.
Lindsey Allen scored a career-high 26 points and was 6 of 7 from 3-point range for the Lynx, who ultimately could not recover from a 3-13 start. Aerial Powers added 22 points as the Lynx shot 45.7 percent.
The Lynx nearly rallied from a 19-point deficit, getting within 86-81 on a free throw by Powers but a putback by Jonquel Jones and two free throws by DeWanna Bonner sealed matters in the final minute.
Thomas scored 10 points as the Sun shot 55 percent and ended the first quarter on a 15-4 run to take a 28-14 lead through the opening quarter. The Sun never let the lead slip below nine points and held a 45-34 lead by halftime.
The Sun maintained control throughout the third and held a 71-54 lead entering the fourth. Connecticut stretched the lead to 77-59 on DiJonal Carrington’s basket with 7:39 left but the Lynx countered with a 15-3 run, prompting the Sun to send their starters back in after Napheesa Collier’s layup cut the deficit to 80-74 with 3:43 left.
–Field Level Media