BRADENTON, Fla. — Napheesa Collier scored 20 points as the Minnesota Lynx held on for an 83-81 victory against the Chicago Sky on Thursday night, July 30.
Chicago missed three potential tying shots in the final 7 seconds, including two by Courtney Vandersloot before Gabby Williams' attempt at the buzzer.
Damiris Dantas poured in 14 points, Rachel Banham notched 13 off the bench and Sylvia Fowles added 10 points for the Lynx (2-1).
Vandersloot, Azura Stevens and Cheyenne Parker all had 16 points for the Sky (2-1). Allie Quigley added 11. Stevens had 11 rebounds.
Collier shot 9-for-16 from the field and also had a team-high 10 rebounds.
Collier scored six of Minnesota's first eight points in the fourth quarter as the Lynx built a 65-56 lead, marking the largest margin of the game to that point. A 6-0 spurt across a 59-second span midway through the final quarter pushed the edge to 74-62.
The Sky were in a stretch of only two points across more than three minutes before rallying.
Chicago was within 79-74 after a Stevens 3-pointer at the 1:41 mark. Collier's basket off a rebound on the next possession tamed the rally, but only briefly.
Then a Minnesota turnover between Chicago baskets left the Lynx with only an 81-78 lead. Collier answered with two free throws before a 3-pointer from Quigley, who missed her previous seven attempts from long range.
Minnesota's Crystal Dangerfield, the team's first rookie to start a game at point guard in 11 years, joined teammate Shenise Johnson with nine points.
The Lynx scored six straight points late in the second quarter and ended up with a 38-34 halftime lead.
The Sky hit only one of nine 3-point attempts in the first half.
With Stefanie Dolson (ankle), Jantel Lavender (foot) and Sydney Colson (illness) sitting out, the Sky used eight players.
The Lynx played without forward Karima Christmas-Kelly, who suffered a season-ending ruptured Achilles tendon in Tuesday night's setback to Seattle. Guard Lexie Brown sat out because she was in the concussion protocol.