Tuesday, June 28 2022

With roster cuts coming later this week, Rennia Davis and Yvonne Turner made strong statements on Sunday.

With Crystal Dangerfield in their first game since joining the team on Friday, the trio came off the bench to combine for all but two points in a late 20-3 Lynx run that led to an 89- 86 against Las Vegas.

Turner finished with a team-high 15 points, and Davis had 13 points and 11 rebounds. Hannah Sjerven, a Rogers native who was the team’s third-round pick this year, scored eight points and grabbed four rebounds, mostly in the final period.

“Every second counts, every day is a blessing to be here in training camp, to have coach (Cheryl) Reeve who trusts me to keep thinking I got it,” Turner said. , now in his fourth NBA season, but first with Minnesota. “…His whole franchise is about playing hardball, and I think I fit in well with that system.”

The Minnesota bench outscored the Las Vegas Reserves 57-28.

“They certainly gave us a lot to think about,” Reeve said. “…We don’t have obvious decisions at all levels. (Well) Sylvia Fowles is safe.

Down 15 with 6:24 left, a layup from Sjerven and 3 points from Davis started the late game push. A pair of free throws and a 3-pointer from Turner gave the Lynx a three-pointer with one minute left. A steal and a layup from Turner cemented the win 17 seconds later.

“We play together all week throughout training camp, so we know how to play well together and we had nothing to lose, so we hustled and played as a team,” Turner said of of the second unit.

Minnesota’s first-round pick in the 2021 draft, Davis missed all of last season with a stress fracture in his left foot.

“We just wanted to play hard back then, because obviously we don’t know how many minutes we’ll have, so I think our whole mindset was kind of like, ‘When we come in, let’s just play hard.’ And then we ended up being together for a long time,” she said.

Fowles led the Lynx starters with eight points and seven rebounds in 22 minutes. Bridget Carleton scored seven, as did Aerial Powers, who committed six turnovers.

Layshia Clarendon, who missed the preseason opener with leg pain, started at point guard and had six points and three assists in nine minutes. Clarendon was restricted at the end of last season with a stress fracture in his right fibula.

Reeve wasn’t too happy with the “selfish” first unit, especially not getting the ball inside the 6-foot-6 Fowles.

“Every time you go down, if you don’t think about Syl, you don’t understand how to play the game. … But if you also don’t understand that Syl is Megatron, as I’ve said many times, and that you keep throwing the ball at a 6-foot level. I’m starting to feel like we’ve got people who aren’t good enough, and we’re going to find people who are good enough to make those plays.”

Forward Angel McCoughtry missed the game as a precaution with right knee pain. Signed as a free agent on Feb. 2, McCoughtry tore his ACL and meniscus in his knee during last year’s preseason with Las Vegas.

Minnesota opens the 36-game season Friday in Seattle. The home opener is Sunday against Washington.

The Lynx are due to submit their final roster of 11 players to the league by Thursday, and it will include Napheesa Collier, who led the team in scoring last season. Collier is expecting her first child and could miss the entire season.

Damiris Dantas, who is recovering from a Lisfranc injury to his right foot, and Kayla McBride, who is finishing her season in Turkey, are also expected to make the list. Minnesota would be able to replace a few of those players on salary cap exceptions.

“They won’t let us play with eight players. It would be a bad image for our league,” Reeve said.

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