Minnesota Los Angeles Notes

WNBA Post-Game Notes
Minnesota vs. Los Angeles
August 7, 2005 @ Target Center

Los Angeles 72

* Tonight's four-point victory stopped the Lynx' five-game losing streak, their longest since a seven-game slide in July 2002. It's Minnesota's first win since defeating Indiana, 66-45, on July 19, and pulls the Lynx (12-14) back to within a half-game of both Los Angeles (12-13) and Phoenix (12-13) for 4th place in the Western Conference playoff chase. Minnesota completes the homestand Tuesday vs. San Antonio.

* Los Angeles suffered its sixth loss in eight games, falling to 2-4 on its current eight-game road trip. The Sparks travel to Connecticut on Tuesday and New York on Wednesday, before returning to Staples Center on Saturday to kick off a five-game homestand against Indiana. Phoenix holds the tiebreaker over L.A. for the West's final postseason berth after winning two of the teams' three meetings this year.

* Minnesota has won three of its past four against the Sparks, beginning with a 78-66 triumph last Sept. 17 at Staples Center that snapped an 18-game series losing streak. The Lynx are now 2-1 this year vs. L.A., winning 68-65 on May 25 at Target Center; they'll visit Los Angeles on Aug. 23 to wrap up the set.

* The Lynx ran off 15 unanswered points to grab a 29-12 lead midway through the first half, and stretched that to 45-25 by intermission. It's Minnesota's first 40-point first half this season and the fourth-highest-scoring first half in club history, as well as the fifth time they've enjoyed a 20-point lead at the break. During their five-game losing streak, the Lynx squandered halftime leads on three occasions.

* Minnesota's lead grew to as many as 25 early in the second half, and was still 61-37 before Mwadi Mabika's four-point play with 10:40 remaining triggered a 31-10 Los Angeles onslaught. Lisa Leslie capped the rally with a basket in the final minute to bring the Sparks to within 71-68, but Mabika missed a tying three-pointer with 25 seconds left and Nicole Ohlde's ensuing breakaway pushed the lead to five.

* Los Angeles forced 14 Lynx miscues in the second half (20 total), piling up a 30-10 advantage in points off TOs (including 23-2 in the final 20 minutes). That's the second-highest point total ever allowed by Minnesota; Detroit scored 31 points off Lynx TOs on July 12, 2002. The Sparks entered play ranked 2nd in the WNBA in TOs forced (16.9 per game); it's the seventh time this year they've forced 20+.

* Minnesota equaled a season high by handing out 22 assists, including a club-record-tying 17 in the first half (also June 14, 1999 vs. Utah). The Lynx improve to 10-2 this year when dealing at least 16 assists.

* The Lynx' 76-point effort is their high since an 81-86 OT victory at Seattle on June 15, and marks just their third 70+ outing in the past 13 games. Minnesota improves to 7-2 on the year when tallying 70 or more. Los Angeles has given up 74.4 ppg in its last five starts (going 1-4), after holding its previous seven opponents to just 65.4 ppg. The Sparks have dropped eight straight when allowing 70+ points.

* Meanwhile, the 72 points scored by L.A. equal its high-water mark since pouring in 86 vs. Phoenix on July 2. The Sparks' offense has dipped to 66.2 over their past 10 contests; they'd averaged 72.5 ppg in the first 15. Minnesota is giving up 71.2 ppg (on 45.5% shooting) over its last five, having held the previous five opponents to just 61.2 ppg (and 39.7% accuracy). The Lynx are 3-6 when permitting 70+.

* Leslie led all scorers with 20 points, her fifth 20+ effort this year and WNBA-record 92nd of her career. Mabika (17) and Laura Macchi (12) both kicked in season scoring highs, helping Los Angeles rack up a 34-19 advantage in bench scoring. Chamique Holdsclaw finished with a season-low six points (her first single-digit outing this season) but matched her season best with seven assists.

* Kristi Harrower netted a team-leading 15 points (her high in a Lynx uniform) and a career-high seven rebounds. Svetlana Abrosimova added 14 points and a game-high nine rebounds (six on the offensive end), while newly-acquired Chandi Jones notched career highs in rebounds (seven) and steals (three).