Brunson, Lynx scorch Sun
UNCASVILLE, Conn. (AP) — Rebekkah Brunson had a season-high 24 points and 11 rebounds to lead the Minnesota Lynx in a 91-77 victory over the Connecticut Sun on Thursday night.
Seimone Augustus scored 18 points, Maya Moore had 17, Lindsay Whalen added 12 and Janel McCarville 11 for the Lynx (19-7), who shot a season-best 58 percent (38 for 66) from the floor. Minnesota, just 6-4 in their previous 10, pulled one game in front of Los Angeles for first place in the Western Conference.
“Connecticut definitely got our best effort, which we haven’t been putting forth lately,” Brunson said. “We knew we had to change our mentality with the way we’ve been playing.”
The Lynx were coming off a loss at Atlanta on Tuesday night in which they scored just five points in the fourth quarter.
“I just thought (Brunson) set the tone on both sides,” Reeve said. “She was our best defender on (Connecticut center Tina) Charles. She takes great pride in all that. We had 26 rebounds and she had 11 of them.”
Charles had 22 points and 12 rebounds, Renee Montgomery scored 16 points and Tan White had 13 for the Sun (7-18), who matched their franchise record for losses. Connecticut was down to eight players, with Allison Hightower (knee) and Kelly Faris (foot) out for the season, and Kara Lawson sidelined with a bone bruise in her knee.
The Lynx led by 10 late in the first quarter. Connecticut cut it to 28-22 with 7:42 left in the second, before Minnesota scored the next nine points and led by double digits the rest of the way.
“Give Minnesota a lot of credit. Their starters, are, in particular, very skilled offensively, very confident,” Connecticut coach Anne Donovan said. “Defensively, we never seemed to bother them. It didn’t matter what lineup we had in there. They shot high 50s, 60s (percent) all night long.”
Minnesota shot 66 percent from the field (21 for 32) in the first half, stretching a 27-18 lead after one quarter to 50-35 at halftime.
The Lynx’s largest lead was 19 points early in the third quarter and matched late in the fourth.
“For at least a good week to 10 days, this felt like a most solid victory,” Whalen said. “Winning on the road is big at this point of the season. It’s huge.”
Before the game, Charles and Connecticut assistant coach Jen Gillom received rings commemorating gold medal the United States won at the London Olympics last year. Charles averaged 11 points per game for the team while Gillom was an assistant coach.
Olympic officials have distributed rings this summer in various WNBA cities.