20090606/CHIMIN
Augustus scores 23 to lead Lynx past Sky
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MINNEAPOLIS(AP) Seimone Augustus has endured many losses during her three seasons with the Minnesota Lynx.

With a new supporting cast, the perennial all-star is hoping those days are long gone.

Augustus scored 23 points and Candice Wiggins added 20 as the new-look Lynx opened their season with a 102-85 win on Saturday against the Chicago Sky.

Charde Houston had 15 points for Minnesota, which was the league's second-highest scoring team last season. Nicky Anosike scored 11.

"You know, we're tired of being in the slumps, tired of being the underestimated team in this league, or always the one at the bottom,'' Augustus said. "So, they made the changes to better this team to one day be a contender, a team when you're talking about the playoffs, you're talking about the Lynx.''

Jia Perkins finished with 24 points for Chicago. Candice Dupree scored 21 and Sylvia Fowles added 15.

Augustus, the only player remaining from the 2007 team that finished 10-24, scored 17 in the first half as Minnesota opened a 56-45 advantage.

With Augustus serving as the centerpiece, the Lynx have undergone a significant transformation the past two seasons.

The latest change came Tuesday when coach Don Zierden resigned to take an NBA assistant coaching position, and assistant Jennifer Gillom was promoted to the top spot.

"It's not about me, it's about those players,'' Gillom said. "They just have to come out here and play every game hard, play to win. I don't care about putting a stamp on them. I just want them to play their best and play with passion.''

A flurry of trades and high-draft choices brought an infusion of youth and talent, and Gillom's squad was opportunistic on Saturday.

Minnesota, which allowed the third-most points last season, scored 34 points off of 22 Sky turnovers.

"I thought defensively we were excellent,'' Gillom said.

Renee Montgomery, the No. 4 overall pick in this year's draft, came off Minnesota's bench with nine points and four assists and had a buzzer-beating 3-pointer to end the first half.

"I think it was evident tonight,'' Augustus said of the team's improved depth. "I didn't have to have the ball in my hands a lot. Candice had the ball in her hands. Charde went to work down there. It was a mixture of everybody. We kind of attacked from every angle. It wasn't just Seimone.''

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