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Minnesota Lynx vs. Atlanta Dream Pick & Prediction JUL 28TH 2022

WNBA | BASKETBALL
TV:
Logo Minnesota Lynx
VS
Logo Atlanta Dream
0
OPENNER
166

1.5 -106
CURRENT
165.5o -110

-102
MONEYLINE
-118

92
SCORE
85

The Atlanta Dream will host the Minnesota Lynx on Thursday in a game that is pivotal to the postseason aspirations for both teams.

The Dream (12-16) entered Wednesday's action in the eighth and final playoff spot, with eight games remaining. The Phoenix Mercury are also at 12-16 but Atlanta holds the head-to-head edge 2-1.

The Lynx (10-19) are 2 1/2 games behind the Dream for the last spot but have Phoenix and the New York Liberty (10-17) ahead of them.

 


Every game is a must-win situation for Atlanta and Minnesota, who met on June 1 when the Dream won 84-76 at home.

"If the playoffs happen, it happens," first-year Atlanta coach Tanisha Wright said. "Is that what we want? Of course. Everybody wants an opportunity to play in the postseason but before we can be thinking about the games ahead, physically, we have some things that we have to get better.

"If we don't get better in certain areas, that's not going to happen anyway, period."


Atlanta has endured a season with many players inflicted by injuries, including most recently Monique Billings (ankle), Nia Coffey (knee) and Asia Durr (hip). All are considered game-time decisions to play against Minnesota.

The Lynx have lost three straight games, the past two against the visiting Connecticut Sun, following a 4-1 stretch from July 3-15.

"You can talk about playoffs all you want," Minnesota coach Cheryl Reeve said. "The fact is, this team needs a lot of help from other teams. We can't control that. We can certainly control our efforts. And we have the toughest schedule of the teams were vying with."

Six of the Lynx's seven remaining games are against teams currently in playoff position, including one more against the Sun, two against the Seattle Storm and two against Atlanta (also Aug. 7 in Minneapolis).


Veteran post player Sylvia Fowles leads the Lynx with 15.0 points and 9.8 rebounds a game while Atlanta relies heavily on rookie wing player Rhyne Howard, who is averaging a team-best 15.2 points a game.

--Field Level Media

PREDICTION
Minnesota Lynx
80
81
Atlanta Dream

Minnesota Lynx vs. Atlanta Dream

Crystal Dangerfield racked up 23 points as the Minnesota Lynx fended off the Atlanta Dream for an 88-79 victory as the WNBA returned to action Friday night at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla.

Napheesa Collier's 19 points and 12 rebounds were key, while Odyssey Sims poured in 17 points off the bench and Bridget Carleton had all nine of her points in the first half for Minnesota (10-4).

It was the league's first game since Tuesday night as all games the next two days were called off in an attempt to bring attention to concerns about racial and social injustice after the police shooting of Jacob Blake, a Black man, in Kenosha, Wis.

Betnijah Laney's 22 points paced Atlanta (3-12), which has lost 11 of its last 12 games. Courtney Williams added 17 points, Elizabeth Williams posted 12 points and 10 rebounds, Blake Dietrick chipped in 11 points and Monique Billings had 10 points.

The Dream trimmed a 15-point deficit to 73-67 with a 9-0 spurt that occurred in less than 90 seconds in the fourth quarter. Minnesota had enough answers, including four straight points from Damiris Dantas to push the margin to 83-73 with about two minutes remaining as the Lynx won for the fourth time in the last five games.

The Dream had a scoring drought of more than 2 1/2 minutes down the stretch.

This was a rematch of Sunday's 78-75 victory for the Dream, which overcame a 14-point deficit in that outing. Neither team had played since then.

Dangerfield was 9 of 10 on free throws, helping overcome Minnesota's 25-percent shooting (7 of 28) on 3-pointers.

Like in the first quarter, the Lynx started strong in the second quarter, using a 13-4 burst across a stretch of less than four minutes. Dangerfield had seven points in a three-minute span and then had another five-point minute as Minnesota extended its lead to 45-33.

The Dream battled back, but Dangerfield's jumper in the final second of the half gave the Lynx a 51-43 edge at the break. She had 16 points at halftime.

Collier scored nine points on 4-for-4 shooting from the field in the game's opening five minutes, but the teams were even at 25-25 after the first quarter. Laney also had nine points entering the second quarter.

WNBA all-time rebounding leader Sylvia Fowles of the Lynx didn't play because of a calf injury, and she has now missed more than a week of action.

--Field Level Media
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