A’ja Wilson’s 38 points lead Aces to semifinals; Lynx force Game 3

There will be at least one winner-take-all Game 3 in the first round of the WNBA playoffs.

The No. 6 seed Minnesota Lynx forced the decider by bouncing back from their 30-point Game 1 blowout loss to defeat the No. 3 Connecticut Sun, 82-75. Game 3 will be played Wednesday at Target Center in Minneapolis in the 2-1 format.

The No. 1 seed Las Vegas Aces became the first to clinch a berth in the semifinals by ousting the No. 8 Chicago Sky, 92-70, in two games at home. They will have a full week off before facing the winner of No. 4 Dallas and No. 5 Atlanta at home in Las Vegas. Dallas leads, 1-0.

Here’s how the Lynx won, what the Sun need to do in Game 3 and what (or who) makes the Aces most dangerous on their quest for a repeat title.

Lynx steady as the vets

Minnesota, who starts two rookies due to injuries, needed more from its stars, and facing elimination in Game 2, they delivered.

Napheesa Collier, a long shot MVP candidate, and Kayla McBride, the most veteran player on the roster, combined for 54 points (65% of the team’s total) to bring a deciding Game 3 back home to Minneapolis. In the 30-point Game 1 blowout loss, they combined for 30 of the team’s 60 points, while no other player scored more than eight.

The production from the rest of the team was much the same on Sunday as the third-highest scorer had six points, but Collier and McBride did plenty to tilt the tides. Collectively, all played better defense on the Sun with seven steals and keeping them away from their 50% 3-point clip in Game 1.

Minnesota Lynx forward Napheesa Collier was key to the Game 2 win, and the Lynx will need her at full strength to pull off the first-round series win. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

Collier was 12-of-24 for 26 points with 13 rebounds, two assists, two steals and a block. She eclipsed her 14-point total of Game 1 within the second quarter, but exited early in the third quarter with a lower back injury. She was ruled questionable by the Lynx and returned two minutes of play later. In the early minutes, she moved gingerly. Her status will be an important key to Game 3. She played only two of the Lynx’s four games against…

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Publish date : 2023-09-17 21:49:34

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