A very important video message was played on the scoreboard just before the opening tip read of the Minnesota Lynx game tonight. It read: “Game 1 we made a statement. Game 2 we will make history. We’re leaving Minnesota after tonight, but we’ll be bringing something back with us.”
A photo was then flashed of the WNBA championship trophy followed, a roar from the amped-up home crowd followed and the Lynx followed with a merciless start to seize control.
Seimone Augustus scored 20 points and Lindsay Whalen had 14 points and five assists to push the Lynx to the brink of their second title in three seasons with an 88-63 victory over the Atlanta Dream in Game 2 of the WNBA Finals on Tuesday night.
Game 3 is on Thursday night in Georgia
Rebekkah Brunson had 12 points and 10 rebounds and Maya Moore got in 14 points and eight boards for the Lynx, who now lead the best-of-five series 2-0.
Angel McCoughtry scored 15 points for the Dream, but she made just 5 of 18 shots and had foul troubles most of the night.
This series is starting to look familiar. These teams met in the finals two years ago, when the Lynx swept the Dream for their first title. But the Lynx were upset by Indiana in the finals last year, and entered this series determined to show last year’s disappointment was a fluke.
Moore had an emphatic swat of McCoughtry on a drive midway through the first quarter, and Moore glared at Atlanta’s combustible star, who is 11 for 42 from the field in the first two games.
The Lynx controlled Game 1 from the opening tip and came into Game 2 overflowing with confidence.
Dream coach Fred Williams had to shuffle his starting lineup after Tiffany Hayes injured her back and tailbone a fall in Game 1. The Dream went big with 6’4 Aneika Henry, she was one of the few Dream players who had any success in the series opening blowout, but was quiet on Tuesday night.
Hayes came off the bench, but wasn’t the phenomenal player she has been for Atlanta this season. And even with the big lineup the Dream were still outscored 42-26 in the paint and outrebounded 40-22.
Whalen was the initiator early, bulling to the basket and using her elbows to create space among the tall trees in the paint to get the Lynx out to a 15-point lead in the first quarter.
McCoughtry missed her first six shots and fouled out with just under four minutes to play.
The Dream managed to get within 10 points midway through the third quarter, but the Lynx responded with an 8-0 burst to regain a comfortable lead.