About to start a six-game homestand, Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve went straight to the point during her pregame media meeting Tuesday.
“It’s time to make our move,” she said. “We know what we’re trying to get done. It’s just time.”
Time to stop making mistakes, to start playing defense on a par with the team’s recent offensive surge.
In a 92-64 victory over Dallas at Target Center, the Lynx (6-14) did all of the above while winning for the third time in four games. It was Minnesota’s most one-sided victory of the season.
The Lynx opened the game making their first seven threes — three from Aerial Powers — while tying a team record for threes in a quarter and building a 33-11 lead. They slowed a bit on offense in the second but kept defending, allowing that lead to grow to 26 at the half.
Up by as many as 32 points in the second half, the Lynx cruised to victory thanks to an offense still humming and the defense starting to carry a tune.
The Lynx held the Wings (9-11) to 17-for-58 shooting ( 29.8) shooting, the lowest by a Minnesota opponent this season. Arika Ogunbowale scored 16 points but needed 12 shots to do it. Marina Mabrey went 1-for-11.
The Lynx? Production up and down the dial.
Powers scored 20, making seven of 11 shots. Also in double figures: Damiris Dantas (11), who made three threes; Sylvia Fowles (10) in 15 minutes. Moriah Jefferson scored 13 points and added 10 rebounds and a career-high 10 assists for a triple-double.
Jessica Shepard had eight points and six boards off the bench.
The Lynx hit a season-high 12 three-pointers. That pushed their record to 136-5 since the start of the 2011 season when holding opponents under 40% shooting.
The Lynx outrebounded one of the better rebounding teams in the league 53-30 and scored a season-high 25 second-chance points.
The Lynx kept scoring from start to finish, basically, while playing defense that ensured Dallas would never get back into the game.
The first quarter was a 10-minute-long Lynx run that ended with Minnesota holding a 33-11 lead.
By the numbers: They made 12 of 20 shots while holding Dallas to 4-for-15.
They made their first seven three-pointers and were 7-for-8 in the quarter, led by Powers, who was 3-for-3 and Dantas, who made both of her threes.
They built a 15-5 lead, forcing a timeout. But the run never really stopped. Up 20-7, they finished the quarter 13-4 with two threes from Powers and one from Jefferson.
And then the Lynx went out and made just seven of their 20 shots and one of eight three-pointers while scoring just 17 second-quarter points.
But a funny thing happened: Their lead grew.
Because the defense Minnesota started the game with kept going. Dallas shot just 4-for-15 in the second quarter, turning the ball over four times resulting in six Lynx points.
Getting points from seven players, the Lynx lead grew as big as 50-30 on Fowles’ steal and end-to-end basket before Dallas scored the final four points of the quarter to pull within 26.
That lead was pared by three points after three quarters, mainly because of Dallas’ ability to get to the line. The Wings, finally finding a bit of offensive pace, made nine of their 10 third-quarter free throws to draw within 71-48 entering the fourth.