(Photo credit: Lucas Peltier-USA TODAY Sports)
There's a sense that the Minnesota Lynx are playing with house money.
After losing Game 1 of their WNBA playoff series to the third-seeded Connecticut Sun by 30 points, they bounced back Sunday for a surprising 82-75 win that evened the series and put them in position to pull off an upset.
They'll have that chance Wednesday night in Minneapolis, thanks to the league's format that gives the lower-seeded team the decisive game at home in the first round.
"We have such a great fan base in Minnesota," forward Napheesa Collier said. "We know the place will be packed. It will be loud. If we play like this again, we'll be hard to beat."
Collier contributed 26 points and 13 rebounds on Sunday, while Kayla McBride poured in 28 points, going 6 of 11 on 3-pointers. The duo became the first Lynx teammates to score at least 25 points in the same playoff game.
The sixth-seeded Lynx canned nearly 48 percent from the field, earned a 35-30 rebounding advantage and committed just nine total turnovers.
Meanwhile, Connecticut dug a 16-point hole in the third quarter before fighting back. That was too much to make up against a team with two players scoring the way Collier and McBride did.
"They've got two vets that obviously carried them in a big way," Sun coach Stephanie White said. "They're well-coached. We expected them to bounce back. Overall, they flipped the script on us and now we've got to respond."
Going relatively unnoticed in the loss was the combined 50 points from Connecticut's Alyssa Thomas and DeWanna Bonner. Thomas added eight rebounds and six assists while playing the full 40 minutes, while Bonner was 6-of-10 from the 3-point line. But the six other players who saw action for the Sun managed just 25 points.
The winner advances to a best-of-five semifinal series against either New York or Washington.
--Field Level Media