SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Lindsay Whalen hit a fadeaway jumper from the right corner over Jayne Appel with 1.5 seconds left to give the Minnesota Lynx a 70-69 victory over the San Antonio Silver Stars on Sunday in a battle of the WNBA’s best teams.
Becky Hammon had a chance to give the Silver Stars the win but missed a runner at the buzzer.
Whalen scored 23 points, while Seimone Augustus had 16 and Taj McWilliams-Franklin had 15 for the Lynx, who have the WNBA’s best record at 13-4.
Minnesota now has won as many games as it did during the entire 2010 season and moved two games ahead of the Silver Stars (11-6) in the Western Conference.
Jia Perkins scored 18 points, Hammon had 15, and Sophia Young and Danielle Robinson had 10 apiece for the Silver Stars.
The Lynx have won six straight games, matching the longest single-season winning streak in franchise history. They also won six straight in 2004.
It was the first game of the season between the Lynx and Silver Stars. They’ll meet again Aug. 4 in Minnesota, the first of three meetings over the remainder of the regular season.
The Lynx trailed by 12 points at halftime, but a combination of Whalen and Minnesota’s defense helped turn the tide in the third quarter. Whalen had 12 points, four assists and two steals, while the Silver Stars shot only 33.3 percent in the quarter.
Whalen either scored or assisted on the Lynx’s final 12 points of the quarter — including Rebekkah Brunson’s jumper with 1.7 seconds left to give the Lynx the lead for the first time since the first quarter.
The Silver Stars were playing their second game without All-Star rookie Danielle Adams, who is expected to miss four to six weeks with a mid-foot sprain of her right foot. She was on crutches and wearing a walking boot.
Even though it was the first meeting of the season between the teams, four Lynx players were in San Antonio only eight days ago for the All-Star game. Whalen, Augustus, Rebekkah Brunson and Maya Moore represented the West. Hammon and Adams were the only Silver Stars All-Stars.
The Lynx shot only 37.8 percent from the field in the first half and trailed 42-30 at halftime. The Silver Stars, meanwhile, hit 5 of 10 3-pointers in the half, led by Perkins, who went 3 of 4 from long range.
The Lynx closed to within six points on an Augustus jumper with 1:58 left in the second quarter before the Silver Stars closed the half on a six-point run. Ruth Riley had four points during the spurt.
Young established herself early for the Silver Stars, with 10 points in the first quarter. The Silver Stars shot 60 percent in the quarter and closed with an 8-2 run to lead 25-20. The Lynx took an early 10-3 lead on back-to-back layups by Whalen before Tully Bevilaqua hit a 3-pointer and Ruth Riley made a layup to close the gap.
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