A slow start doomed the Lynx in a 90-81 loss to the Phoenix Mercury at the Footprint Center.
The Mercury made 10 of their first 11 three-point shots while the Lynx made one in the first half. That led to a 17-point halftime lead. The Lynx did not make a three-point shot until there was 3 minutes, 26 seconds left in the first half.
"It was not our intention to give up [so many] threes in the first half," Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve said. "Phoenix had a hungry way about them that we just weren't ready for, for whatever reason. I thought it should have been two teams that were awfully desperate to get a win. It's hard to get a win on the road, but we didn't start competing until the second half."
Aerial Powers did her best to keep the Lynx in the game with 12 of her team-high 20 points in the first half.
"[Powers] was awfully helpful to us," Reeve said. "I think she is feeling her shot right now, which is great. It was great to see her find success."
The Lynx (0-3) chipped away and cut the deficit to single digits seven times in the second half. However, the Mercury responded immediately with small runs of their own to pull away. The Lynx had a chance to cut the deficit to five with 39 seconds left, but Bridget Carleton's three-point shot was off the mark.
The Mercury immediately made a pair of free throws to get the lead back to 10. They put the game away at the free-throw line by making 21 of 23 as a team.
The Mercury held Napheesa Collier to eight points on 3-for-9 shooting. Collier entered the game leading the Lynx in scoring at 18.5 points per game.
"There was a crowd on her. She's our best player, so she gets a lot of attention," Reeve said. "If I could be honest, I don't [think she]imposed her will on the game in a way that we saw in the last game we played. I thought we had some chances for [her] to get a little more aggressive and just demand the ball, be strong with it and try to get three-point plays. We just have to find ways to make sure single digits is not where Collier ends up."
The Mercury (1-2) had five players score in double figures. Diana Taurasi led the Mercury with 23 points and 10 assists. Brittney Griner had 19 points and eight rebounds.
Jessica Shepard gave the Lynx their only lead 27 seconds into the game. She scored the first seven points for the Lynx and finished the game with 13 points.
Diamond Miller had 13 points and Tiffany Mitchell had 12 for the Lynx.
Lynx starting guard Kayla McBride missed the game because of personal reasons. She is second on the team in scoring at 10 points per game.
The Star Tribune did not send the writer of this article to the game. This was written using a broadcast, interviews and other material