Lousy Lynx defense results in worst result in franchise history, a 40-point home loss to Dallas Wings

12 July 2023

Using PG language, the Minnesota Lynx defense is leaving a lot to be desired. More apt would be a few adult, not-suitable-for-print words.

That’s what happens when you set another franchise record of the wrong kind.

The Lynx played as if they already were on their break for the upcoming WNBA All-Star Game, not playing their last game before it, falling 107-67 to Dallas in a Wednesday matinee at Target Center. It occurred before a season-high Camp Day crowd of 13,531, primarily shrilling youth clad in a rainbow of T-shirts representing YMCAs and other groups.

The 40-point deficit is the most in 25 years of Lynx basketball, surpassing a 39-point loss to Sacramento on July 3, 2001.

Minnesota’s 113-89 home loss to Las Vegas on Sunday was the most regulation points allowed in franchise history. For the first time since 2007, and second time in franchise history, the Lynx allowed their opponent to top the century mark.

“There’s no excuse. I can’t really think of anything besides we’ve got to stop talking about it and do it,” said Lynx guard Rachel Banham, a former Gophers star from Lakeville. “We all know what we need to get done. We’re professionals; just can’t do that again.”

Teammate Diamond Miller said the energy was lacking, and theorized the negativity of Sunday’s loss may have carried over. “Anything they wanted, they got,” she said. “That’s just unacceptable because we are better than that, we should have more pride than that. When we wear Lynx on our jersey, that is a history of greatness.”

The Wings, who recorded a season high in points scored, shot 55.7 percent from the field through three quarters, finishing at 51.7 percent for the game. They had a season-high 31 assists on 41 baskets.

“We can’t have times when there’s two of us doing, three of us, doing it,” Banham said of the Lynx’s defensive woes. “All five have to be on the same page and we’ve got to follow the game plan. We’ve got to trust what the coaches have set up for us and then we can adjust from there. We didn’t have enough of that today. Our goal today was to protect the paint, and we absolutely did not protect the paint.”

Dallas had double the points in the paint (52 to Minnesota’s 26) and dominated in rebounds (43-28), second-chance points (29-11) and fast-break points (14-3) against a Lynx squad that was outhustled and outmuscled all game.

The Wings (11-9) scored 25 points off 15 Minnesota turnovers; the Lynx (9-11) had 3 points off seven Dallas miscues.

Former Lynx forward Natasha Howard led Dallas with 28 points and 13 rebounds, Teaira McCowan and Satou Sabally each had 19 points, and Arike Ogunbowale recorded her first career double-double with 18 points and 11 rebounds.

Two Minnesota players reached double figures in scoring. Napheesa Collier had 11 points, plus four rebounds, before her day ended midway through the third quarter. Kayla McBride had 10 points in 16 minutes, and Miller had nine points in 23 minutes. McBride did not have an assist or rebound; Miller was the same until grabbing a couple of garbage-time rebounds.

Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve sensed right way that her team was amiss.

Since the Las Vegas loss, Minnesota has watched video, with coaches stressing that Dallas is a paint team. “So, the (second) possession when there’s a drive by us and there’s not people in position, that’s when I go, ’Are we seriously going to do this again?’ and we did,” she said.

Using separate runs of 15-3 and 11-2 in the first half, the Wings led 50-34 at intermission. Back-to-back three-pointers from Ogunbowale and another from Howard pushed the Dallas lead to 77-44 with just under 3 minutes to go in the third quarter.

In six of its past 10 games, the Lynx have allowed at least 89 points.

Prior to Sunday’s loss to Las Vegas, Minnesota had won five in a row against the bottom three teams in the standings. After back-to-back blowout losses, what is the state of this team?

“We’ve got to learn from these last two and we need to wash it and we’ve got to move on because that was gross. We can’t do that again,” Banham said. “We’ve just got to be better.”

Related Articles

Minnesota Lynx |

Kelsey Plum scores 40 to power Aces to 113-89 blowout win over Lynx

Minnesota Lynx |

Lynx grind out win over Mercury for 5th straight victory

Minnesota Lynx |

Lynx’s Napheesa Collier to help start new women’s league to play in WNBA offseason

Minnesota Lynx |

Kayla McBride makes winning play as Lynx run win streak to four

Minnesota Lynx |

Lynx’s Napheesa Collier named WNBA all-star

Need help?

If you need support, please send an email to [email protected]

Thank you.