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Despite slow start, Lynx cruise past Mercury

Minnesota's 32-16 advantage in points off the bench proved key in countering Skylar Diggins-Smith's game-high 25 points

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Behind a 48-31 second-half edge, the Minnesota Lynx snapped a five-game losing skid with a 84-71 win over the host Phoenix Mercury on Tuesday.

Minnesota (4-13) trailed by 11 points after one quarter and did not lead until midway through the third quarter. After the visitors briefly fell behind again, Kayla McBride sank a 3-pointer with 3:41 remaining in the third period, putting the Lynx up 54-53, and Minnesota dominated the rest of the way.

Minnesota pushed its advantage to as many as 18 points in the fourth quarter, answering every time the Mercury threatened to rally.

Bridget Carleton made a pair of 3-pointers less than a minute apart to power a 12-0 run that effectively sealed the win, just the Lynx's second in the last nine outings.

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Minnesota has won 20 of 23 regular-season games against Phoenix since August 2015, including 10 straight in Arizona.
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The Lynx now sit in 11th place in the 12-team league, 1½ games behind Atlanta, New York and Phoenix who are tied for seventh. Minnesota has four games left, three against teams that would currently be in the playoffs.
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The Lynx (11-19) are now 1 1/2 games behind the Dream but the Phoenix Mercury (12-16 entering Thursday) and New York Liberty (12-17) are also in contention.
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Minnesota shot 42.9 percent from the floor and were 6 of 13 from behind the arc
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Five players scored in double figures for Minnesota (10-18), led by Aerial Powers with 14 points.
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For the game, the Lynx committed 16 turnovers and shot 33% from the field while tallying a season-low 57 points — led by 16 from Kayla McBride, who felt the Lynx got good shots that simply weren’t going down.
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Playing their third game in four nights, the Lynx (10-16) moved within a game of Phoenix for the WNBA's final playoff spot with 10 games left.
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Rachel Banham scored 24 points and Sylvia Fowles recorded 20 points and 17 rebounds for Minnesota (9-16), which had a three-game winning streak halted.
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It was the third win in a row for the Lynx (9-15).

McBride led the Lynx with 18 points and five steals. Moriah Jefferson scored 12 points and dished out nine assists in the win, with Natalie Achonwa's 12 points leading four Minnesota reserves who scored at least six points.

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Carleton's two clutch 3-pointers accounted for all six of her points, Jessica Shepard added six points to go with a game-high 13 rebounds, and Rachel Banham finished with eight points.

Minnesota's 32-16 advantage in points off the bench proved key in countering Skylar Diggins-Smith's game-high 25 points, which included 3-of-5 shooting from 3-point range.

Diana Taurasi also knocked down three 3-pointers en route to 15 points for the Mercury, but she missed seven long-range attempts. Shey Peddy shot 3 of 8 from beyond the arc and finished with 12 points off the bench as Phoenix took its third loss in four games.

Tina Charles struggled to seven points on just 2-of-8 shooting from the floor -- part of a collective 39.7 percent night for Phoenix -- but among her team-high seven rebounds was the 3,500th of her career.

Only Minnesota's Sylvia Fowles, who missed Tuesday's game with a knee injury, reached that rebounding milestone previously in WNBA history. Fowles currently has 3,836 rebounds.

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This story was written by one of our partner news agencies. Forum Communications Company uses content from agencies such as Reuters, Kaiser Health News, Tribune News Service and others to provide a wider range of news to our readers. Learn more about the news services FCC uses here.

Related Topics: MINNESOTA LYNXBASKETBALL
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