(Aaron Lavinsky/Star Tribune via AP, File)

Whalen, Fowles boost Lynx over Mystics

Final regular season game for Whalen packs Target Center

August 20, 2018 - 4:45 am

   MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Lindsay Whalen scored 10 points in the final regular-season home game of her career, Sylvia Fowles set the WNBA season record for rebounds and the Lynx closed the regular season with a 88-83 victory over the Washington Mystics on Sunday night.

   A crowd of 13,013 packed Target Center, most of them on hand to give Whalen a proper send-off after a long career in basketball that took her from her small-town home in Hutchinson, to stardom at the University of Minnesota, professional success home and abroad, and a pair of Olympic gold medals.

   Governor Dayton declared it "Lindsay Whalen Day" in Minnesota and a retirement ceremony followed the game.

   "Thank you guys," said Whalen, speaking at center court before a hushed crowd. "Just keep supporting, and keep cheering us on, and hopefully we'll see you back here in a week or so."

   The 36-year-old Whalen begins coaching the Gophers in the fall.

   But first, she'll try to help the Lynx defend their WNBA championship, starting with Tuesday's one-game playoff at Los Angeles.

   Fowles had 26 points and 14 rebounds to finish with a WNBA-record 404 rebounds. She broke the mark of 403 set last year by Jonquel Jones.

   Whalen hit a 3-pointer that gave the Lynx (18-16) the lead for good during a 13-0 run that ended at 78-69 early in the fourth quarter. The Mystics (22-12) got no closer than the final score.

   The seventh-seeded Lynx will visit the sixth-seeded Los Angeles Sparks - a rematch of the last two WNBA finals - in the single-elimination first round of the WNBA playoffs Tuesday night.

   The No. 3 seed Mystics had their eight-game winning streak snapped and their 22 regular-season wins tied a franchise best.

   Washington has a bye through the first round of the playoffs to host the Lynx-Sparks winner in the second round Thursday night.