Even from a long way away, through the filter of a Zoom call, you could feel the frustration.
Napheesa Collier was not happy. And not just because her Lynx team had dropped an 89-79 game to Seattle to fall into an 0-2 hole in the best-of-five WNBA semifinals.
No, it was more the way it happened.
In a back-and-forth game in which both teams made runs, it was a five-minute stretch to end the first half that might have ultimately swayed the game.
A 14-0 finish to the first half by Seattle — which came with Collier on the bench with three fouls — put Seattle up 13 at halftime.
“I just felt that it wasn’t a lot of contact,’’ Collier said of that crucial third foul. “And, with the playoffs, I hate when they call touchy fouls. I wish they would let us play.’’
That is not the only reason the Lynx lost. They knew Seattle would turn up the defensive pressure, and the Lynx struggled with that at times. They only turned the ball over 10 times, but it resulted in 18 Storm points.
On offense, Seattle forced the Lynx to defend into the third, fourth or fifth pass in many possessions, and too often the Lynx didn’t do that; Seattle shot 50.8%.
That 13-point halftime lead grew to 21.
Then a frenetic Lynx comeback pulled them within five late in the third quarter. But the bottom line is the Lynx lost by 10 to a very good Seattle team. So afterward it was hard to forget that 14-0 run.
It came midway through the second quarter, when Collier was called for a foul on what became a three-point play by Seattle reserve Mercedes Russell. That put the Storm up seven. Surprisingly, the Lynx scored the next eight points, taking a one-point lead on Crystal Dangerfield’s free throw.
But then the bottom dropped out.
Jewell Loyd scored 12 points in the ensuing 14-0 run, during which the Lynx went 0-for-10. Loyd made all four of her shots, rising high to hit two well-contested three-pointers.
All while Collier watched.
“It [stinks] to be on the bench for a quarter and a half because I have three fouls when they’re not, in my opinion, fouls or hard fouls,” she said.
Still, down 19 with 5:15 left in the third, the Lynx roared back. Damiris Dantas hit two three-pointers, Sims scored six and Collier five in a 20-4 run that brought Minnesota within 66-61 with 1:12 left in the third.
It could have gotten closer, but Collier missed two free throws and Dangerfield one of two near the end of the quarter, and Seattle led 68-62 entering the fourth.
A 10-4 start to the fourth put Seattle in control for good.
Dantas continued her hot playoffs, scoring 23 points with seven rebounds. She made five of seven threes. Sims scored 18 points. Dangerfield had 10 points and seven assists. Collier finished with 12 points in 29 minutes.
Loyd led Seattle with 20 points. Breanna Stewart had 17 points, eight rebounds and seven assists.
“One game at a time,’’ Sims said. “We’ll figure out a way to win Game 3.’’
The Lynx will likely have an off-day Friday, then a Saturday practice to prepare for Sunday afternoon’s third game.
“It’s not a 200-minute series unless you are winning a couple of those 40 minutes,’’ Reeve said. “The mind-set is we’ve got to win a game. And Sunday will be that game.’’