20070622/SEAMIN
Augustus Shines As Lynx Top Storm

Minnesota 78, Seattle 76

MINNEAPOLIS, June 22 (AP) -- Seimone Augustus scored 23 points, including the go-ahead jumper with five seconds left, to lead the Minnesota Lynx to a 78-76 win over the Seattle Storm on Friday night.

Rookie Lindsey Harding added 16 points for Minnesota, which has won four of its last five after starting the season a franchise-worst 0-7.

"With a young team, you can be real good one night and then scratch your head the next night,'' Lynx coach Don Zierden said. "Tonight we went into the half only down by four and our two best players hardly played. We felt good about that.''

With the game tied at 58 after three quarters, Minnesota began the fourth with an 8-0 run and held off a late rally by Sue Bird and the Storm to preserve the win.

Racking up two early fouls, Augustus failed to score until there was 2:37 left in the second quarter. But once she heated up, so did the Lynx.

Augustus scored 14 points in the third quarter as Minnesota (4-10) rebounded from a 39-35 halftime deficit to avenge a 90-76 drubbing at the hands of Seattle two weeks ago.

"I just wasn't in rhythm and wasn't in tune early,'' Augustus said. "I just wanted to make an impact.''

Betty Lennox scored 18 points and Lauren Jackson 16 for the Storm (5-6). Jackson made only six of 15 shots, extending her slump from Thursday's loss in Detroit, where the perennial All-Star was held to a season low 11 points.

"Jackson is arguably the best player in the WNBA,'' Zierden said. "She's not going to go 6-for-15 every night. That's the ballgame right there.''

Bird almost single-handedly won the game for Seattle. The veteran nailed a 3-pointer and a jumper to tie the game with under 20 seconds to play. But Seattle turned the ball over with 12 seconds left, setting up Augustus' winning jumper from the top of the key.

"I saw Sue was signaling for everyone to collapse in and I just took what was given to me,'' Augustus said. "That was probably the most room I had all night for my jumper.''

Added Zierden: I talked to her at halftime about attacking the rim more in the second half. She winked at me in the locker room after the game because the game-winner was a jumper. At this level, the coaching needs to get out of the way of the players.''

Lynx 78, Storm 76
Seimone Augustus scored 23, including the go-ahead jumper with five seconds left, to lead the Lynx to a 78-76 win over the Storm on Friday.