ROSEMONT, ILL. – Rare is it when the Lynx lose. Rarer still is when they are blown out. And rarer even still is when they give up 100 points.
All of the above happened Saturday night, though, after it seemed like the Chicago Sky couldn’t miss for much of the game — and so the team with the WNBA’s second-worst record handed a humbling defeat to the team with its best.
Courtney Vandersloot had 26 points on 11-for-16 shooting and added 13 assists and seven rebounds, and Chicago shot 59.7 percent from the floor in a 100-76 victory over the Lynx at Allstate Arena.
“I thought it was 40 minutes of awful basketball by the Minnesota Lynx,” Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve said. “The Chicago Sky deserve all the credit for how hard they played and how much they wanted to win that game.”
Tamera Young added 18 points on 7-for-10 shooting for the Sky (4-12). Chicago had been 0-7 at home, and the Lynx (13-2) were 7-0 on the road. The Lynx also were coming off an 88-77 home victory Thursday over Los Angeles, the team that beat them in the 2016 WNBA Finals.
But any good feelings from that victory were wiped away Saturday, when the Lynx trailed 31-26 after one quarter and 54-47 at halftime. The Sky put the game nearly out of reach by outscoring the Lynx 22-10 in the third quarter for a 76-57 lead. The Lynx shot 2-for-12 from the floor in the third.
“I think a big thing is holding Minnesota to 10 points in the third quarter,” Vandersloot said. “That is very, very difficult to do. We showed that we can really guard, and we can guard the best offensive team in the league, and we held them to 10 points in a quarter.”
Chicago shot 47.1 percent from three-point range, had 31 assists, outrebounded the Lynx 33-24 and reached 100 points for the first time since July 2016.
“We weren’t ready to play,” Lynx center Sylvia Fowles said. “We talked about trying to get defensive stops and it didn’t happen and Chicago utlilized it and they ran it down our throat.”
It’s the first time the Lynx have given up 100 points since July 22, 2014, when they beat Atlanta 112-108 at home in double overtime. The last time they surrendered 100 points in regulation was Aug. 16, 2011, when they lost at Connecticut 108-79.
After starting out 2016 with a WNBA record 13 consecutive victories, the Lynx suffered their first loss June 24, when they fell 94-76 to Los Angeles. Two nights later, the Lynx lost 87-63 at Washington. They hadn’t lost by double digits since until Saturday — a span of 41 games, including the postseason.
Rebekkah Brunson led the Lynx with 22 points, her highest output since August 2013. Fowles had 13 points and Seimone Augustus 10.
“We can’t just let teams get on a roll and keep rolling,” Brunson said. “We have to step up defensively.”
Maya Moore went 0-for-3 from the floor, her first game without a field goal since she went 0-for-7 vs. San Antonio on Aug. 4, 2011. She finished with eight points, all on free throws.
The Lynx opened this season by beating Chicago 70-61 on May 14 at Xcel Energy Center. Vandersloot and fellow Sky guard Allie Quigley missed that game because both were still playing overseas.
Chicago seven-time All-Star guard Cappie Pondexter sat out because of the WNBA's concussion protocol.
CHICAGO 100, LYNX 76
Friday: 9 p.m. at Phoenix (no TV)