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The Lynx Beat

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Lynx center Fowles out with a calf injury vs. New York tonight

Something of a bombshell in the Lynx’s pre-game injury report update.

Center Sylvia Fowles is out with a calf injury. Bridget Carleton will start in her place.

This is big news. Fowles, 34, has never missed a game since joining the Lynx via trade midway through the 2015 season.

A surprise, we’ll find out more about her condition in the post-game access.

With Carleton starting, that means coach Cheryl Reeve will start with a small lineup that will likely have Damiris Dantas in the post and Napheesa Collier starting out in the four.

Carleton – who played some key minutes in the Lynx’s victory over Connecticut Saturday, is capable of playing anywhere from shooting guard to power forward. She will likely play the three tonight. Against a New York Liberty team that loves to shoot the three, a smaller lineup might be better at guarding the perimeter.

In other news: As expected, Lexie Brown has been cleared to return.

Connecticut star DeWanna Bonner praises Lynx forward Napheesa Collier

The Lynx and Sun will tip off in a little over an hour at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla. It will be the second time in four games the Lynx (2-1) have faced the Sun. Minnesota came back to beat the Sun in they opener last Sunday, the first of three straight losses for Connecticut to start the season.

You can bet Connecticut will be up for this one.

The Sun has the league’s leading scorer (DeWanna Bonner) and its leading rebounder (Alyssa Thomas).

Bonner had 34 points in a loss to L.A. in her last game.  According to Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve Bonner – who has scored 19, 29 and 34 points in her first three games – looks to be getting comfortable with her new team.

But what we’re here to talk about is what Bonner had to say about Lynx forward Napheesa Collier. Bonner wrote a piece for the Players Tribune that appeared this week. Titled, “The 5 Best Young Guns in the WNBA,’’ Bonner broke down who she felt were the five best young players in the league.

Among them: Collier.

In fact Bonner said Collier – last year’s WNBA rookie of the year – reminded her of herself as a young player.

Here’s some of the other things she said:

--“She’s still very green, but she just worked her butt off last year and did whatever she needed to do to help that Lynx team,’’ Bonner wrote. “She didn’t try to do too much, or try to take over. She just did whatever was needed.’’

--“She just works so hard when she’s out there on the court, and I can tell you straight up that we all hate playing against people like that. It’s hard to chase around somebody who goes hard after every rebound, and back-cuts like crazy, and can step back and hit a three if need be.’’

--“Napheesa is just always going to outwork people.’’

This is high praise.

“They remind me of one another in terms of versatility,’’ Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve said in her pre-game access today.

The others Bonner mentioned: Diamond DeShields, A’ja Wilson, Arike Ogunbowale and Kelsey Mitchell.