Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve was in the middle of her postgame comments Friday at Target Center when a huge cheer came out of the nearby Connecticut Sun locker room.
The Sun were celebrating more than a 94-84 victory. They were reveling in Alyssa Thomas' 15-point, 12-assist, 10-rebound triple-double.
"Isn't that fun, they come to Minnesota and celebrate winning," Reeve said. "The first triple-double in franchise history? They take a timeout on us and celebrate? Isn't that fun. Not a good night for the Lynx, was it?"
No, it wasn't.
Don't let the final score deceive you. For the majority of this game the Sun did anything they wanted to do on the offensive end while building a 13-point lead by halftime and a 19-point lead entering the final quarter, when both teams basically went to the bench.
The 96 points allowed was one of the season highs by a Lynx opponent in a non-overtime game this season. The 55.2% shooting by the Sun was the best by a Minnesota foe, and it was even worse — 64.4% — through three quarters.
On a night when the Lynx scored 84 points and shot 54.8%, they were never really in the game. And that's because the Sun was effective inside (38 points in the paint), outside (10-for-21 on threes) and pretty much everywhere else, too.
"The disappointing part is to see a lack of will," Reeve said. "Lack of movement, lack of playing the scheme, hard to see if we're playing the right scheme. They did anything they wanted.
"They put the ball in the post, they kicked it out. There was just so much freedom of movement. For whatever reason, some of these games have been a challenge."
Because Dallas lost Friday as well, the Lynx (10-18) remain two games behind the Wings for eighth place in the WNBA, the final playoff position. But, with eight games left to play — seven of which are against teams currently in playoff position — they are looking at an uphill battle.
The third-place Sun (18-9) were playing without All-Star post player Jonquel Jones, who is in COVID-19 protocols. Still, Connecticut got 20 points from DeWanna Bonner, the triple-double from Thomas and 15 points from Courtney Williams.
The Sun scored 22 points off 19 Lynx turnovers.
Minnesota was led by Aerial Powers, who had 14 points. Sylvia Fowles and Kayla McBride each had 12 points, as did Nikolina Milic off the bench. Newly signed guard Lindsay Allen had nine points and seven assists.
"That's a good question," Powers said when asked about Reeve's talk of a lack of will, especially given the stakes. "I think coach is right. I feel like our will wasn't there. We know the position we're in, fighting for the eighth spot. We know every game matters. We just have to be better."
Things could be different in Sunday's rematch with the Sun. Reeve said she didn't like the way the starting lineup played together and talked about mixing things up.
Friday, Reeve started Jessica Shepard in place of Damiris Dantas, who is away dealing with a personal issue, at power forward. In the game all five starters were minus players, all five bench players were plus. There is a chance Reeve could make a change at guard or at power forward, with Allen and Milic in line, perhaps, for a jump in minutes.