- Associated Press - Thursday, September 14, 2017

MINNEAPOLIS — Newly crowned MVP Sylvia Fowles scored 25 points to lead the Minnesota Lynx to a 93-83 victory over the Washington Mystics in Game 2 of the WNBA semifinals Thursday night.

Fowles made 12 of 16 shots and the Lynx shot 51 percent from the floor to take a 2-0 lead in the best-of-five series. Maya Moore had 22 points and five assists, and Rebekkah Brunson added 11 points and 10 rebounds in a back-and-forth game at the University of Minnesota’s Williams Arena.

Elena Delle Donne and Kristi Toliver each scored 25 points for the Mystics. Washington led by two with five minutes to go, but was outscored 20-8 the rest of the way.

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Game 3 is Sunday in Washington.

Fowles was given the MVP trophy about two hours before tipoff, accepting it in a tearful press conference as she reflected on 10 years in the league. While some of her teammates had trouble finding the mark in the first half, Fowles powered her way to the basket over and over again to keep the Lynx in the game.

She was never more impressive than on two straight possessions in the fourth after the Lynx fell behind 72-71. Fowles rose up to snatch two offensive rebounds in traffic, then scored through contact to put Minnesota back in front. Her second one jumpstarted a 9-0 run that put the Lynx up 82-75, and they never looked back.

Lynx guard Lindsay Whalen showed plenty of rust in Game 1 after missing the final 12 games of the regular season with a broken hand. But she was integral in the closing surge in Game 2, scoring on a pretty reverse layup to make it 88-78. She had nine points and seven assists after sitting most of the first half with foul trouble.

Toliver was just 1 for 7 in the Game 1 defeat after hitting a playoff-record nine 3s in the win over New York on Sunday. But she came out firing on Thursday night, making her first three shots and scoring 13 points in the first half. She scored nine quick points in the first half of the third quarter, but didn’t score again until the final minute of the game.

If the best-of-five series goes to a fourth game in Washington, it will be played at McDonough Arena on Georgetown’s campus, the WNBA announced. The move is necessary due to a scheduling conflict with Ed Sheeran in town that night. McDonough Arena is home to the Georgetown women’s basketball team and volleyball team.

Venue changes are a way of life in the WNBA. The Los Angeles Sparks, Phoenix Mercury and Lynx have all had to change buildings in these playoffs, and the Lynx already were playing in a temporary home in the regular season due to the renovation of Target Center.

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