Kayla McBride scored 28 points, Napheesa Collier tallied 26 points and 13 rebounds and the sixth-seeded Minnesota Lynx took down the third-seeded Connecticut Sun 82-75 in Game 2 of their first-round playoff series Sunday in Uncasville, Conn.
The Lynx forced a winner-take-all Game 3, which they will host on Wednesday in Minneapolis.
Both McBride and Collier established playoff career highs in points, and no other Lynx player scored more than six. The Lynx shot 33-for-69 as a team (47.8 percent), with McBride making 10 of 18 shots — 6 of 11 from 3-point range — and Collier canning 12 of 24 overall.
The Lynx went on a 14-1 run to take a 65-49 lead with 3:01 left in the third. But the Sun scored the final 11 points of the quarter and cut it to 65-63 early in the fourth.
Bridget Carleton drained a corner 3 to end the Lynx’s scoring drought of more than five minutes.
The Sun pulled back within three points four times, twice on DeWanna Bonner’s long treys at 73-70 and 76-73. But Minnesota put the game away when Collier followed her own miss, McBride made a driving layup and Rachel Banham hit a dagger from the elbow.
Alyssa Thomas recorded 26 points, eight rebounds and six assists to power the Sun. Bonner made 6 of 10 3-pointers to finish with 24 points.
Bonner knocked down back-to-back 3-pointers to put the Sun ahead 14-13 with 4:16 left in the first quarter, but the Lynx answered with seven straight points and carried a 24-21 lead to the locker room. Collier had 10 points in the first period alone, on 5-of-8 shooting.
The Lynx took their largest lead of the half at 29-21 on McBride’s 3-pointer early in the second quarter, but Bonner answered with another one of her own 17 seconds later and Connecticut kept it within five the rest of the quarter, the lead changing hands four times.
McBride drilled a 3 with 1:07 left and Thomas was whistled for a foul under the basket, allowing Diamond Miller to make it a four-point play. Bonner’s fourth 3 cut the margin to 41-39, but McBride made another triple in the final few seconds for a 44-39 Minnesota lead at halftime.
–Field Level Media
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