Minneapolis, MN–Hans Christian Anderson couldn’t have penned a better ending and Hoosiers director David Anspaug surely couldn’t have elicited more drama in a basketball movie. Never in my sports fandom did I ever expect to witness one of the most dramatic and arguably greatest comebacks in sports history this past Sunday, August 31.
In stunning fashion, the Minnesota Lynx came back from a thirteen point first quarter deficit to the Phoenix Mercury to force a decisive game three in the WNBA western conference finals. Throughout the first three quarters of play, Phoenix dominated the game. The 10,513 fans inside the target center kept quiet by the solid play of Diana Taurasi and company (I must note that I did not see the entirety of the first half due to mechanical problems on the train ride over). By the time the second quarter finished it was Phoenix 44-Minnesota 36 yet a tiny shred of momentum was building for the Lynx.
At the start of the third quarter, that small bit of momentum steadily gained steam, churning into a Maya Moore shooting clinic, who finished with 32 points in the effort. But for every shot Moore and the Lynx made, Phoenix was right there with them.
The play of the game came just before one minute was left on the clock with an improbable Moore jumper to give the Lynx a 75-73 advantage. Phoenix’s Candice Dupree quickly responded to knot it back at 75, but the tide had turned, the Target Center was on its feet, and Seimone Augustus successfully completed the and-1 after a field goal and foul by Phoenix’s DeWanna Bonner. The Lynx never looked back, putting up a final tally of 82 points to the Mercury’s 77.
What is outstanding about the Lynx’s play is they never looked flustered. Despite the rough first half, they continued to execute their game plan, exhibiting confidence in their ability. Many other teams in that situation would have fallen apart. If my late uncle had seen this game, he very well might have been persuaded to mention the WNBA’s Lynx occasionally in his columns… maybe.
Either way, I am looking forward to following Game 3 of the WNBA Western finals tonight and hope you will too. I have a feeling you won’t be disappointed.