Minnesota 61, Phoenix 56
Sam She Is; Sheri Leads Lynx
MINNEAPOLIS, Aug. 4 (Ticker) -- Katie Smith couldn't make a shot. But she and her Minnesota Lynx teammates could not miss from the line.
A former scoring champion averaging 19.6 points per game, Smith clearly was not herself, missing all six of her shots from the floor. She was scoreless as a tight game moved into the last two minutes.
A three-pointter by Anna DeForge pulled Phoenix into a 49-49 tie with 2:09 to play before Janell Burse twice made a pair of free throws, giving Minnesota the lead for good.
Smith added two from the line with 49 seconds to go, then another two 13 seconds later to make it 57-49 and seal the Lynx's eighth win in their last 11 games.
Smith finished with eight points, all from the line. In Sunday's 73-71 victory over Seattle, she made a game-winning jumper at the buzzer.
The WNBA record for free throws without a miss is 27, set by Portland against Los Angeles on July 28, 2001.
Sheri Sam scored 18 points and Burse added 14 for the Lynx (15-11), who are pushing for the first postseason berth in franchise history. They limited Phoenix to 37 percent shooting and held a 33-22 rebounding edge.
Lisa Harrison scored and Tamicha Jackson scored 14 points apiece and DeForge added 11 for the Mercury, who fell to a league-worst 2-13 on the road.
The teams combined for 33 turnovers, 22 by Minnesota. A sloppy first half saw the Mercury grab a 19-18 lead.