Lynx beat Dream in final seconds

Photo by Daniel Kay

Photo by Daniel Kay

MINNEAPOLIS -- Nicky Anosike had 16 points, a late steal and a picture-perfect assist to Rebekkah Brunson for the go-ahead layup with 7.2 seconds left to lift the Minnesota Lynx to an 83-81 victory over the Atlanta Dream on Wednesday.

Seimone Augustus scored 22 points and Lindsay Whalen added 17 points for Minnesota in this once-a-year midweek matinee, delighting the thousands of screaming kids on summer break after the Lynx squandered a 14-point first-half lead.

Anosike stole a bounce pass toward the post for Erika de Souza and drew a foul with 38.1 seconds remaining, draining both free throws to tie the game at 81. After de Souza airballed a jumper from the top of the key, with Whalen putting a hand in her face, the Lynx had the ball and set up for the winning shot.

Anosike threaded a pretty high-low pass to Brunson as she cut to the basket for the easy layup and the lead. Angel McCoughtry, who finished with 25 points for the Dream, missed an off-balance try on the other end and de Souza's short putback hit the rim.

Iziane Castro Marques had 20 points despite 13 missed field goals for the Dream, who were 1 for 18 from 3-point range and again missing starter Sancho Lyttle. But they still managed to come within six points of their scoring average with a second-half surge.

The Dream fell to 8-2 against the weaker Western Conference, and the Lynx picked up just their second win against the East this season.

After starting 2-9, the Lynx have won five of their last seven games. They're 2-0 at the beginning of a six-game homestand, after this important victory over the second-highest scoring squad in the WNBA and the Eastern Conference's first-place team.

The Dream beat the Lynx 76-58 in Atlanta on July 1, when the Lynx shot just 29.9 percent from the floor while going 2 for 18 in the first quarter. They avoided such a sluggish start this time, scoring 25 points in the first quarter.

Atlanta backup guards Kelly Miller and Coco Miller played together in their home state for the first time since they turned pro. Years before Whalen was a program-changing star at the University of Minnesota, the Miller twins became women's basketball pioneers in this state.