McBride continues 3-point tear, Lynx dominate second half in 83-64 win over Seattle

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The Minnesota Lynx offense could almost be boiled down to “Give Kayla McBride the ball.”

After all, the sharpshooting guard completed a two-game stretch on Sunday that is one of the best in the 28-year history of the WNBA.

“McBuckets” made seven 3-pointers as part of a season-high 32-point night and the Lynx pulled away to beat Seattle 83-64.

“I’m just having a lot of fun,” McBride said.

Shooting a league-best 51.2% on 3-point shots, McBride had a franchise- and career-best eight buckets from deep Friday. Her 15 threes in a two-game period ties the WNBA record set by Diana Taurasi from Sept. 1-3, 2020. However, McBride attempted 23 shots during her record-tying run. Taurasi needed 28.

“I think K-Mac should be on top given that tiebreak,” coach Cheryl Reeve said.

McBride and Taurasi are the only players in league history with back-to-back games with at least seven made 3s.

“I’ve just kind of found my flow at this point of my career and I’ve just been trying to capitalize on it,” said McBride, now in her 11th season. “And I know that’s what this team needs me to be too, that’s be very confident on the perimeter. We have one the best players in the world in Napheesa Collier and I’m just trying to create that same feeling on the outside.”

Calling McBride’s run “pretty incredible,” Reeve said the rest of the offense deserves credit, too.

“I think she’s getting easier 3s than maybe she got last season,” Reeve said. “There’s more to worry about and I think maybe that has contributed. So, her teammates around her finding her in a good time when a defense is in rotation. But credit to her, she’s got to the hard work, she’s got make the shot.”

“Every time she shoots the ball in the game, I think it’s going in,” said Bridget Carleton, a shooting partner at practice with McBride.

Minnesota, which shot 45% from the field, had 25 assists on 27 baskets and was 17 of 21 from the free-throw line.

Collier was her usual self with a 19-point, 14-rebound outing and showed more outward emotion, including involvement in couple of second-half skirmishes. And Carleton found her stroke in the second half with 10 of her 13 points.

The 8-3 Lynx have won four of five and six of eight. Minnesota, who lost on a last-second shot Friday in Phoenix, has beaten 7-4 Seattle three times this season.

The top shooting, long-distance team in the WNBA with 10.6 makes per game and a 40.5% success rate, Minnesota had a 14-5 run late in the third quarter/early fourth keyed by the 3.

McBride and Collier drilled 3s to start the stretch and Collier added another. Carleton ended the third converting an inbounds pass from Olivia Époupa for a 59-52 lead, leading to Carleton and McBride exchanging an enthusiastic hand slap after the make.

In 14 minutes off the bench, Époupa, a 5-foot-5 guard, grabbed eight rebounds and had seven assists, numbers McBride called “insane.”

Another McBride 3 put the Lynx up by 10 midway through the fourth and her final trey made it 78-62.

Down by five at intermission, Minnesota outscored Seattle 47-23 in the second half.

Losing for the first time in seven games, Seattle got 25 points from Jewell Loyd and 14 from Nneka Ogwumike. The Storm shot 34.7%, the sixth time in 11 games a Lynx opponent did not reach 40%.

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