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Duke in the WNBA: Lexie Brown finding a groove, Chelsea Gray an All-Star again

Lexie Brown scored 20 points in two games off the bench for the Minnesota Lynx, the first Lynx player to do so since 2010.
Lexie Brown scored 20 points in two games off the bench for the Minnesota Lynx, the first Lynx player to do so since 2010.

Each week, the Blue Zone takes a look at the seven—now six—former Blue Devils currently playing across four WNBA teams this season. This week we take you inside Chelsea Gray's third straight All-Star nod, rookie Lexie Brown's scoring groove and Haley Peters' release.

Lexie Brown and Karima Christmas-Kelly, Minnesota Lynx

The Minnesota Lynx announced on July 1 that Karima Christmas-Kelly would be out the remainder of the season with surgery scheduled for the next day.

In a 79-90 defeat to the Seattle Storm, Lexie Brown recorded her second career game with at least 20 points. One point off her career high notched back in early June, Brown scored 20 points on 8-of-11 shooting. The former Blue Devil standout also knocked down four 3-pointers in only six attempts.

In a 74-79 loss to the Las Vegas Aces July 21, Brown recorded four points, two steals, a rebound and an assist.

In the Wednesday afternoon matinee, the Lynx again fell, this time to the Washington Mystics, 71-79, in their final game before the All-Star break. Brown dropped in a team-high 19 points on 7-of-15 shooting and 5-for-10 from 3-point range to go along with three assists. The former Blue Devil also recorded a pair of steals and rebounds off the bench. In the final two minutes of the game, Brown missed two key triples.

Upcoming: August 3 at Indiana Fever

Alana Beard and Chelsea Gray, Los Angeles Sparks

Chelsea Gray earned a spot on her third-straight All-Star team, as the former Duke star was announced as a starter on July 11. The All-Star game will take place this summer at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas. Fellow former Blue Devil Quinn Cook, who recently signed a two-year deal with the Los Angeles Lakers, congratulated Gray on the achievement.

In a July 18 matinee at the Staples Center against the Dallas Wings, the Sparks walked away with a 69-64 victory. In the game, Gray recorded 11 points on 5-of-13 shooting. She just missed out on a double-double as the former Duke star finished with nine rebounds. Gray dished out four assists and recorded three steals. Alana Beard missed the Thursday afternoon contest with a hamstring injury.

Two days later, Gray notched a new season-high with five steals to accompany a 19-point showing in a 78-83 loss to the New York Liberty. Gray also assisted on five baskets and brought down a pair of boards in 34 minutes of play. 

In their final game before All-Star weekend, the Sparks traveled across the country to Atlanta to take on the Dream July 23. Behind a 10-point, six assist outing from Gray, Los Angeles defeated the Dream 78-66. Beard scored two points and recorded a steal and an assist in the victory.

Upcoming: August 1 vs. Las Vegas Aces; August 4 vs. Seattle Storm

Jasmine Thomas, Connecticut Sun

The Connecticut Sun, fresh off two straight wins returned home to host the Atlanta Dream July 19. In the Sun's 98-69 victory, Jasmine Thomas recorded her fifth straight double-figure scoring game—the former Duke standout dropped in 14 points on 5-of-6 shooting. The Sun’s starting point guard also dished out four assists and grabbed five rebounds.

In the Sun's fourth win in a row, Thomas recorded a team-high 18 points, seven assists and seven boards en route to the team’s victory.

Upcoming: July 30 vs. Chicago Sky; August 1 vs. Phoenix Mercury; August 4 at New York Liberty

Elizabeth Williams and Haley Peters, Atlanta Dream

The Dream announced July 17 that Haley Peters was waived. On the season, she played for a total of 27 minutes and scored two points, both off free throws in her season debut. Peters also brought down a pair of boards and recorded an assist, steal and block in four contests.

Concluding their three-game road trip, Atlanta made the trip south from the Northeast to the nation’s capital, Washington D.C. The Mystics took the July 21 contest with a 93-65 victory behind a 28-point night from 2015 WNBA MVP Elena Delle Donne. Williams had her best scoring game in more than a week as the former fourth overall pick scored 14 points on 6-of-9 shooting and a pair from the charity stripe.

In the July 23 loss to the Sparks, Williams scored nine points and brought down eight rebounds in 29 minutes. The Dream center finished with an assist, steal and block in the team’s final game before the All-Star break.

Upcoming: July 31 at Indiana Fever; August 3 vs. Chicago Sky


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