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May 30, 2024 9:12 pm

Lynx, Mercury both seek bounce-back efforts

napheesa collier

The Minnesota Lynx will try to bounce back from a lopsided loss when they take the court against the Phoenix Mercury on Friday night in Minneapolis.

The Lynx are coming off an 80-66 defeat against the Las Vegas Aces on Wednesday night. It marked a rare setback for a team that won four of its first five games and had its first loss come by one point.

Lynx veteran Napheesa Collier said she and her teammates could benefit from the loss. Collier scored 18 points and pulled down 13 rebounds in the game.

“I’m happy we saw this,” Collier said. “It’s so much better to see this in the sixth game than in the playoffs, getting punched in the mouth and having to deal with it.”

Phoenix also is looking to create a positive out of a recent funk. The Mercury have lost three straight games, including 81-78 to the New York Liberty on Wednesday.

Center Britney Griner remains out for Phoenix because of a left foot injury.

Forward Natasha Mack said replacing Griner was difficult, but possible.

“It takes all of us,” Mack said. “It’s a team effort. It’s not just one person who can shut it down. It’s about what’s on the court and everybody on the bench.

“Most of our team is still new. The chemistry (is developing). We’re still learning each other. It’s early in the season. All we can do is bounce back from that.”

Kahleah Copper leads Phoenix with 24.7 points per game. Diana Taurasi is next with 16.4 points per game, and Natasha Cloud is averaging 12.1 points.

The Lynx are led by Collier, who is averaging 22.2 points per game. Kayla McBride is at 16.2 ppg, and Alanna Smith ranks third on the team with an average 14.5 points.

Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve said she wants her players to play more cohesively on offense.

“We didn’t get good movement,” Reeve said after the loss against Las Vegas. “We didn’t sprint to our screens. We gave into letting them push us off our spot.”

–Field Level Media

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