The Minnesota Lynx and Chicago Sky both took part in their game Saturday night at the Wintrust Arena in Chicago, with questions about whether or not they really are contestants. The Lynx lost two in a row to the Connecticut Sun to fall 13-9 (fourth place), and the Sky lost to a team with a losing record in the Dallas Wings to fall 11-11 (sixth place) .
The Sky, who were without a single injury without Candace Parker, struggled, but in the end the Lynx were too much for them and won 101-95.
A 4-point game by Courtney Vandersloot put it over with 33.6 seconds to six, but the Lynx broke off the game with a couple of free kicks. The Sky was early in the fourth within three.
Layshia Clarendon led the Lynx with 18 points and five assists. Kayla McBride (16 points), Crystal Dangerfield (16), Sylvia Fowles (15), Napheesa Collier (14) and Aerial Powers (10) joined her with double figures and Damiris Dantas had eight points, seven rebounds and four assists. McBride grabbed seven boards while Fowles (three blocks) dragged in six and Collier (four assists, two steals) five.
Vandersloot (eight assists, two steals) and her wife Allie Quigley (three assists) both had 27 points in defeat. Vandersloot was 3-of-4 from across the arc, while Quigley was 4-of-6. The Lynx were an effective 5-out-8 as a team with Dangerfield being 2-of-2.
Minnesota was also excellent off the field (54 percent) and got 28-of-33 (84.8 percent) from the free throw after head coach Cheryl Reeve made a point about her team not getting to the line enough.
One of the best storylines this season: Layshia Clarendon goes from league to a core player for the Lynx. His ball now!#WNBATwitter
– Swish Appeal (@SwishAppeal) 22 August 2021
Phoenix Mercury (13-10) over Atlanta Dream (6-17), 84-69
Phoenix won the final frame by 12 to secure the 15-point victory. It scored 24 turnovers, 14 more than Atlanta, but shot well off the field (52.6 percent) and out of 3-point land (9-of-19), surpassing the dream by 47-24.
Skylar Diggins-Smith led with 25 points, six rebounds, seven assists and two steals. Meanwhile, Diana Taurasi (18 points, four assists) impressed with 10 boards and also got her 2,000th career aid.
Brittney Griner added 13 points, 12 rebounds, five assists and two blocks to the winning streak, while Brianna Turner had 15 points, 10 boards and two rebounds.
Odyssey Sims scored 16 points to advance the dream.