Thompson Scores 18, Leads Comets Over Lynx

Houston 72, Minnesota 65 (F)

MINNEAPOLIS, June 21 (AP) -- Ever so slowly, the Houston Comets are starting to find their rhythm. On the other hand, the Minnesota Lynx have hit a few speed bumps after a fast start.

Tina Thompson scored 18 points and grabbed eight rebounds, and Shannon Johnson added 16 points for the Comets, who beat Minnesota 72-65 on Saturday night for their third win in four games.

Houston earned its first road win and sent the Lynx - who started the season 5-0 - to their fifth straight loss.

"We just needed a win on the road,'' said Johnson, who went scoreless in the first half but keyed a big third quarter for Houston with 12 points. The 10-year veteran hit two crucial 3-pointers during the period after the Lynx recovered from a poor start to pull within two to start the second half.

"All in all, as a team in the second half we stayed together,'' Comets coach Karleen Thompson said.

Thanks to a stifling defense and poor Lynx shooting, Houston held Minnesota to just six points in the first quarter, the lowest-scoring period in franchise history. Seimone Augustus, the WNBA's fifth-leading scorer, scored 12 points - eight in the fourth - for the Lynx. Augustus entered the game averaging 19.4 points per game.

"You just have to make her work on the defensive end and hope that her legs get tired,'' Thompson said.

Augustus credited Houston's defense, but also placed blame on Minnesota's shot selection. The Comets double-teamed the post whenever Minnesota's guards fed the ball to the front court. Early on, nearly every Lynx shot clanged off the rim or was badly off the mark.

"We were just stagnant,'' Augustus said.

Rookie Candice Wiggins kept Minnesota (6-6) in the game with 24 points, including 13 from the foul line, but the Lynx lost for the sixth time in seven contests. They went 1-for-15 in the first quarter and eclipsed the previous record low of seven points scored in the second period of a game against Phoenix in 2006.

Houston led by only two points after Anna DeForge opened the second half with a 3-pointer, but the Lynx went cold again. They managed just two other field goals in the quarter, and the Comets steadily pulled away.

Minnesota staged a 10-4 run to make it 63-57 with 2:08 to play, but Johnson added a free throw, Thompson made a fast-break layup, and Sequoia Holmes sank a pair of free throws to seal the Comets' victory.

"We're not where we want to be,'' Lynx coach Don Zierden said. "But I told the players a few days ago we're a roll-up-our-sleeves kind of group.''

Augustus said the Lynx aren't down on themselves despite the recent slump.

"You bounce back from it,'' she said. "We're still waiting on that bounce back.''

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