20080717/MINHOU
Thompson scores 25 to lead Comets past Lynx
,

HOUSTON(AP) Tina Thompson scored 25 points off the bench, helping the Houston Comets snap a three-game losing streak with a 96-88 victory over the Minnesota Lynx on Thursday.

Houston led 71-63 when Lynx star Candice Wiggins hit a 3-pointer less than a minute into the fourth quarter. The Comets responded with an 8-2 run capped by a jumper from Hamchetou Maiga-Ba with 5:05 left to put the game away.

Tamecka Dixon added 22 points, five rebounds and five assists for the Comets (10-12), who closed within a half-game of Minnesota and Sacramento for fourth place in the Western Conference. Sancho Lyttle scored 16 points and tied a career-high with 18 rebounds, and Maiga-Ba finished with 14 points.

Wiggins wound up with 27 points off the bench for Minnesota. Seimone Augustus finished with 17, Vanessa Hayden-Johnson had 14 and Kristen Rasmussen 10.

Houston opened the game with a 12-2 run, then extended the lead to 16-5 on a pair of free throws from Lyttle with 3:30 left in the first quarter.

Augustus finished off a 14-2 run by Minnesota, taking a 31-26 lead with 6:20 left in the first half. But behind Thompson's 16 points before the break, the Comets took a 45-41 lead into halftime.

The Lynx (10-11) cut the lead to 50-49 when Nicole Ohlde hit a jumper with 6:48 left in the third quarter, but Dixon scored six points during a 15-4 run to answer. By the time Thompson scored on a layup with 2:49 left, Houston had built a 65-53 cushion.

Calendar Strip here