Storm escapes Lynx in a thriller, takes 1-0 advantage

Alysha Clark‘s put-back shot beats the buzzer, gives Seattle Storm a 1-0 edge over Minnesota Lynx, 88-86, in the best-of-five semifinals series.

With 14:8 seconds remaining, the Storm took a timeout with the score even at 86. The play started with Sue Bird swinging the ball to Breanna Stewart who eventually found Sami Whitcomb in the corner. Whitcomb took it hard to the basket but her layup did not fall. Fortunately, Clark was there for the offensive rebound which eventually got them the win.

It was a back-and-forth grind in the first frame. Both teams trying to ease their pace to the game. Storm, having nine days of rest, showed a little rust from the early minutes. In the end, Seattle took a 22-21 advantage in the first quarter.

They picked up the scoring the second quarter with Jewell Loyd and Bridget Carleton heating up from beyond the arc. The two teams combined for 16 three-pointers in the first half. Seattle took a 50-45 advantage at the half.

Lynx showed their grit at the final frame.

After the Storm battled back to take a double-digit lead in the second half, the Lynx went on a fourth-quarter run to make it a game late in the final frame. They held Seattle scoreless in the first three and a half minutes of the fourth quarter.

It was the impressive play from Napheesa Collier which gave the Lynx the boost that they needed. She scored 25 points, nine rebounds, and six assists for her team.

The Lynx wiped out a 10-point hole to go up 78-77 with less than five minutes to play on Collier’s three-point basket. Minnesota led 81-80 with 2:37 to play.

She had help with three other Lynx players posting double figures. Odyssey Sims and Carleton added 19 and 14 points. Damiris Dantas had 11 points and eight rebounds.

On the other end, all starters for the Storm reached double figures. Loyd had a team-high 25 points while Stewart had 21 points and 10 rebounds. Clark added 12 points, six rebounds, and three assists while Bird added 11 points and eight assists. Natasha Howard with 10 points.

The team will face again on the second round of the series on Thursday at 9:30 PM ET.

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