Fowles’ fantastic first half leads Lynx in rout of Storm

Sylvia Fowles shoots over Breanna Stewart. Photo by NBAE via Getty Images.
Sylvia Fowles shoots over Breanna Stewart. Photo by NBAE via Getty Images.

Seattle – For two quarters on Saturday night, the Seattle Storm had no answer for Sylvia Fowles.

The Minnesota center went 10-of-11 from the field — and 6-of-7 from the line — and matched Seattle rebound-for-rebound, as the Lynx held a 64-39 lead at the break.

Though the Storm held her scoreless in 12 second-half minutes, the damage was already done, as Minnesota extended its season-long winning streak to seven games and snapped Seattle’s home streak at four with a 100-77 rout.

Fowles led all scorers with her 26 first-half points, while Rebekkah Brunson had a season-high 21, and Lindsay Whalen finished with 19 to lead the Lynx.

Four Seattle starters finished in double-figures, led by 16 points from both Alysha Clark and Crystal Langhorne, along with 14 from Breanna Stewart and 10 from Sue Bird.

Minnesota started the night 8-of-9 from the field, and led by 11 after one quarter. It took more than seven minutes for Seattle to grab its first rebound of the night.

“We knew we had to come ready from the start and overall, we felt like we were able to play well and play our schemes,” Whalen said.

Seattle was within 12 mid-way through the second, before a 13-0 run put Minnesota up comfortably in the waning moments before the break. Of the Lynx’s 32 second-quarter points, 18 came from Fowles, as the team took a 64-39 lead into the half.

“She’s a lot to handle,” Stewart said of Fowles. “She’s very strong, and more often than not it took more than one of us to be able to slow her down.”

Seattle went on a 9-0 run early in the second half, but 18 was as close as the Storm would get in the third. The teams traded baskets for much of the final quarter, with a Clark lay-up cutting the deficit back down to 19 as Seattle ultimately outscored the Lynx by a single point over the final 20 minutes.

“We had stretches where Seattle played harder than us and made their runs, but I thought each time we answered it without things getting too out of hand with them cutting into the lead,” said Lynx head coach Cheryl Reeve.

Minnesota finished the night shooting just under 60 percent from the field, while outrebounding the Storm 31-21.

“You can’t have mental lapses against this team, and we had a lot of them,” Bird said.

That said, the veteran guard said there was much to take away from Saturday’s defeat.

“I’m sure when we watch film we’re going to learn a lot,” Bird said. “I think sometimes losses can be more important than wins in a lot of ways. You see things. You see who you really are, and I know we’re going to learn from it.”

Minnesota now heads to D.C. to take on the Mystics next Thursday, and Dallas next Sunday to wrap up a three-game road swing, while the Storm start a three-game trip of its own in San Antonio on Wednesday.

Dribbles:

  • Minnesota’s 32 points was the team’s most in the first quarter this season.
  • 64 points at the break tied a Lynx record for first half scoring, and the team’s 26 made field goals set a franchise record.
  • Lanay Montgomery was the lone player in uniform to not play for Seattle.
  • Several local luminaries were on hand on Saturday, including Seattle Seahawks linebacker K.J. Wright, Sonics legend Slick Watts, and Mayor Ed Murray.
  • Points in the Paint: Lynx 46, Storm 44
  • Second Chance Points: Lynx 18, Storm 13
  • Fast Break Points: Lynx 5, Storm 3
  • Attendance: 7,576