|Lynx look to get well vs. Fever|
Two weeks ago, the Minnesota Lynx were 20-2 and burning through their WNBA schedule.
Then the team lost point guard Lindsay Whalen to a hand injury and the league's best team is 1-3 since.
Things in Minnesota will get a little easier Friday when the Lynx (21-5) host the Indiana Fever (9-19) at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.
On Wednesday, in a 62-61 loss to a Seattle Storm team that was playing without veteran point guard Sue Bird, the Lynx shot only 33.3 percent from the field, with its two stars -- Maya Moore and Sylvia Fowles -- going a combined 11-for-31.
To make matters worse, forward Rebekkah Brunson missed the second half after appearing to suffer an ankle injury.
So, how does Minnesota turn it around?
"I don't know," coach Cheryl Reeve told the (Minneapolis) Star Tribune. "We'll have to search for answers."
"We need to ... get over the humps a little better so we can finish some of these games," Moore told the paper.
Moore, who along with Fowles had a chance in the closing moments, missed 11 of 16 shots and had 15 points.
"(I) didn't execute by hitting the shot," said Moore, referring to her baseline jumper. "Of course, I want it back to try and get that shot to go in. Ultimately, the game wasn't won or lost on that possession for us, but we gave ourselves a chance to win."
The Storm focused on slowing Fowles, the WNBA MVP frontrunner, who had torched Seattle for 29 and 26 points in Lynx wins earlier this season.
The Storm held Fowles, a 66 percent field-goal shooter, to 13 points on 6-for-15 shooting.
"We made it really tough on her," Storm forward Breanna Stewart told the Seattle Times after the game. "And when we're trapping from all over the place, she's not sure of where it's coming from. ... Whatever shot she took, they were tough shots and contested."
Indiana has lost seven of its past eight games, dropping the Fever into 11th place in the WNBA standings and putting in serious jeopardy its hopes for a 13th consecutive trip to the postseason.
Ironically, the only Indiana win during that stretch came against the Lynx in Minnesota's first game after Whalen sustained her injury.
On Saturday, the Fever lost 100-80 to the Mystics in Washington. Indiana was outrebounded 35-25 and outshot 58 percent to 44.
"Once again, we allowed Washington to be comfortable early in the game and get some momentum," Fever coach Pokey Chatman told the team's website. "We allowed 28 points in the first quarter. After the delay, I thought we had some energy, but we didn't do enough to keep their players from doing what they wanted on their offensive end of the floor."
On Thursday, the team announced that Tiffany Mitchell, who sat out the Washington game with right knee pain, will miss the remainder of the season.
The second-year guard was averaging 10.3 points.
Indiana is three games behind eighth-place Seattle, which holds the final playoff spot. The Fever has a rematch with Washington at home Sunday.
The Lynx, whose lead in the standings is down to two games, will be in New York on Sunday to face the Liberty.