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Sylvia Fowles returns, helps Lynx defeat Mercury

Sportsnaut
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

Moriah Jefferson scored 21 points and the Minnesota Lynx won their second straight game, beating the Phoenix Mercury 100-88 on Thursday night in Minneapolis.

Jefferson also had five assists and three rebounds for the Lynx (5-13) and was one of five Minnesota players to score in double digits. Kayla McBride and Damiris Dantas each had 15 points, and Aerial Powers tallied 12 points, eight rebounds and six assists.

Minnesota center Sylvia Fowles — recently named a starter and a co-captain for the upcoming WNBA All-Star Game — played for the first time since June 7. After nursing a knee injury, Fowles finished Thursday’s clash with 14 points and 10 rebounds in 22 minutes of action. She helped the Lynx gain a 42-23 advantage on the boards.

Tina Charles led the Mercury (6-12) with 26 points and five rebounds, while veteran guard Diana Taurasi had 23 points. Skylar Diggins-Smith — Phoenix’s leader in All-Star voting — had 14 points, while Shey Peddy chipped in 12.

Despite shooting 54 percent (6 of 11) from behind the arc in the first half, Phoenix trailed Minnesota by 12 points. The Mercury grabbed just eight rebounds in the half, and the Lynx closed the second quarter with an 8-3 run.

Phoenix cut Minnesota’s lead to six points early in the third quarter, but then the Lynx broke off an 11-2 run to put more distance between themselves and the Mercury. Phoenix’s 3-point shooting cooled off in the second half, too, as it shot just 3 of 17.

The Mercury led 17-13 in the first quarter, but then Minnesota took the lead by closing out the period with a 10-0 run.

It was the second time this week that the Lynx beat the Mercury. The two sides will meet again on July 12 in Minneapolis.