Nefisa Collier’s 27 issues helped Lynx keep forward of Atlanta in extra time

It appeared like virtually each different WNBA group had a greater likelihood of creating the playoffs than the Minnesota Lynx once they began the season 0-6.

However this 12 months’s ultimate season playoff push has Cheryl Reeve’s group atop the standings because the common season fizzles out, together with different post-season hopefuls.

Wanting simply two wins to make the playoffs with 4 video games left coming into Friday, the Lynx held their protection and Nefisa Collier’s 27 issues and 17 rebounds led them to a 91–85 extra time victory in opposition to Atlanta on the Goal Middle. Ignited a overdue rally for the win.

Reeve mentioned, “We mentioned whether or not the sport is hard, the place we’re, and what we are seeking to accomplish.” “It demanding situations you mentally, and it demanding situations you bodily. You need to have the opportunity to return out on height.”

The Lynx (18-19) escaped relegation this season in the back of the Dream, which held the tiebreaker after two wins in opposition to Minnesota previous this summer season.

After dropping a a very powerful sport on Tuesday to the Mystics, the Lynx bounced again and moved as much as No. 5 within the standings, forward of Washington and Atlanta for 6th and 7th, respectively.

Collier, who reached his profession 2,000-point mark on Friday, struggled at the evening to complete in opposition to Atlanta’s physicality. However after capturing 3 of 12 from the sphere within the first part, Collier had 9 consecutive issues to lend a hand erase a seven-point deficit within the fourth quarter.

The All-Big name ahead additionally scored seven issues right through an 11–1 run that gave the Lynx an 85–76 lead going into extra time.

Collier mentioned, “It was once a actually vital sport as a result of we had been combating for a seed within the playoffs.” “I am actually happy with the way in which we advanced and the psychological toughness we confirmed.”

The Dream (17-20) was once held to just 36% capturing from the sphere and had been defeated 50-45. The Lynx’s protection has advanced dramatically because the get started of the season — and it additionally gave them the momentum to finish law on Friday.

Boxscore: Lynx 91, Atlanta 85 (OT)

Serving to drives to baskets was a primary forestall in instances of disaster. Kayla McBride’s layup with 11 seconds closing despatched the sport into extra time. McBride completed with 20 issues. Dorka Juhaj had 12 issues, a career-high 16 rebounds and 6 assists.

Juhaz mentioned, “Those are the video games I really like.” “It way so much for the playoffs. I am happy lets win it. It was once a excellent take a look at for us.”

After their remaining matchup in opposition to Minnesota, Atlanta went on a seven-game profitable streak following an 82–73 victory on July 18. Collier’s season-high 35 issues that evening was once now not sufficient to stop the Lynx’s 3rd consecutive loss.

So, how did the Lynx get themselves safely into the playoff image?

Collier & Co. grew to become the season round, profitable 9 out of 12 video games in June and July, which integrated 5 wins in a row. However after a short lived stoop, following a loss to Atlanta in mid-July, Reeve’s group went directly to win 8 in their subsequent 13 video games. Again-to-back wins in opposition to Dallas had Minnesota hoping to clinch a top-five playoff seed earlier than dropping to New York and Washington on the finish of the month of August.

With a career-high 25 issues in Washington, rookie Diamond Miller was once restricted to a few issues in 13 mins. However McBride and previous Gopher Rachel Banham (12 issues) mixed to attain seven of Minnesota’s 8 issues. Nikolina Milik additionally had 10 issues off the bench.

The Lynx host Phoenix on Sunday with a possibility to make their playoff spot legit with every other win. They’re going to attempt to steer clear of desiring to win as soon as to finish the common season, taking part in in Chicago on September 8 and Indiana on September 10.

Reeve mentioned, “I believe this group feels excellent about itself.” “I do know they’re feeling excellent with this win as a result of it’s clearly significant in the case of a playoff place.”

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