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Minnesota Lynx eliminated from playoffs, ending Sylvia Fowles’ career

Sylvia Fowles #34 of the Minnesota Lynx looks on during the game against the Connecticut Sun on August 14, 2022 at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut. (Photo by Chris Marion/NBAE via Getty Images)

The Minnesota Lynx fell to the Connecticut Sun 90-83 on Sunday, eliminating the team from WNBA playoffs contention.

Minnesota’s loss made way for the Phoenix Mercury to clinch the team’s 10th consecutive playoff berth with one game in hand.

The Lynx’s defeat also marks the end of Sylvia Fowles’ career. The star center checked out of the game with seconds left on the clock, receiving an emotional embrace from coach Cheryl Reeve as she returned to the bench.

“I was telling her thank you,” said Fowles of the emotional farewell. “You never want to let a moment go when you appreciate somebody to let them know you love them. Cheryl has been everything that I needed to be successful and I’m grateful for that.”

Fowles notched ten points and 12 rebounds against Connecticut, capping off a prolific 15-year career in the WNBA that includes two league championships.

Her sixth board of the game made Fowles the first WNBA player in history to tally 4,000 regular-season rebounds, shattering records in her final appearance with the Lynx.

“There will never be another Sylvia Fowles,” coach Reeve said after Sunday’s game. “It’s not just the 4,000 rebounds, which is awfully impressive. But it’s the way she did it.”

With Minnesota out of playoff contention for the first time since 2010, the Mercury and the New York Liberty clinch the final two postseason berths, joining the Las Vegas Aces, Chicago Sky, Seattle Storm, Connecticut Sun, Washington Mystics and Dallas Wings in the postseason field.