The Minnesota Lynx pulled out a big-time win Tuesday over the Mercury, but not without some tough choices — and some controversy.
In the final minute of Minnesota’s double-overtime 118-107 win, Phoenix guard Diana Taurasi kicked Sylvia Fowles in the groin, leaving the center doubled over in pain.
Last stages of the games and Diana Taurasi out here kicking the great Sylvia Fowles in the groin for what reason?! pic.twitter.com/uo8VtziWuW— Chris Williamson (@CWilliamson44) July 13, 2022
Last stages of the games and Diana Taurasi out here kicking the great Sylvia Fowles in the groin for what reason?! pic.twitter.com/uo8VtziWuW
While Fowles subbed out for the final 33 seconds of the game after the contact with Taurasi, she went well past her 25-minute limit. She played for a total of 36 minutes, going against Lynx trainer Chuck Barta’s wishes.
“I’m in trouble,” Lynx coach Cheryl Reeves said. “Chuck wanted to sub her out. [It was an] executive decision. Syl said no.”
According to Reeves, Fowles said she felt good enough to keep going. Fowles ended up contributing 14 points and 14 rebounds on 6-of-10 shooting, but Reeve knows the extra wear and tear could have an impact down the line.
“Obviously it can be problematic. It’s going to be problematic,” Reeves said. “Tomorrow there’ll be joint effusion. It’s probably going to affect us for Thursday. So we have to really monitor Moriah [Jefferson] and Syl to see what’s happening there.
“So it could be a costly game, but it was a must win.”
Fowles already has missed time this season with a knee injury, exiting the Lynx lineup for five games due to a cartilage injury. She made her return two weeks later and has been dominating ever since, including in the All-Star Game over the weekend, where she dunked for the first time since 2009.
The Lynx are at the bottom of the Western Conference but have won their last three and six out of their last 10. Included among their wins are upsets over the Chicago Sky and Las Vegas Aces, the league’s top two teams.
Tuesday’s win over the Mercury certainly helped as the Lynx look to climb the rankings, as the Mercury sit just a half-game ahead of them in the Western Conference.
Minnesota is back in action Thursday against the Dallas Wings before a Friday matchup against the Indiana Fever.