Minnesota Washington Notes

WNBA Post-Game Notes
Minnesota vs. Washington
June 11, 2005 @ Target Center

Washington 60

* Minnesota ran its winning streak to three with tonight's victory, inching over the .500 mark for the first time this season at 4-3. The Lynx move into a 3rd-place tie with Houston in the Western Conference, 1.5 games in back of front-running Sacramento (6-2) and a half-game behind Seattle (5-3) for 2nd. The run equals the 3rd-longest winning streak in franchise history; Minnesota put together a club-record six-game string last July. The Lynx are now 3-1 at Target Center, and kick off a three-game West Coast trip Wednesday night in Seattle.

* The final 18-point spread represents Minnesota's biggest winning margin since an 81-54 triumph over San Antonio on July 25, 2003. It's the Lynx' first double-digit victory of the year (having won their previous three by a total of 13 points), as well as Washington's first loss by 10+ points. The win enabled Minnesota to gain a split of the season set, avenging the Mystics' 74-71 victory on June 3 at the MCI Center. The Lynx are now 6-5 all-time versus Washington, including 2-3 at home.

* The Mystics wrapped up their second of five back-to-back outings this summer, coming on the heels of Friday's 64-52 home win over Seattle. They slip to 3-6 on the season, one game off their pace after nine games a year ago; Washington closed 2004 with five wins in its last six games to finish 17-17 and grab the Eastern Conference's final playoff berth. The Mystics have dropped three straight road games since a 61-42 Opening Night (May 21) triumph at Charlotte; they now have a week off before hosting Indiana next Saturday.

* Washington used a 14-4 spurt, capped by Alana Beard's three-point play, to grab a 16-12 lead midway through the 1st half, and shot 46 percent in the opening 20 minutes en route to a 32-30 edge at intermission. The Mystics took their last lead of the night when a pair of Temeka Johnson free throws made it 41-40 with 15:54 remaining. Svetlana Abrosimova then triggered a 16-2 Lynx surge over the next six minutes, and Washington could get no closer than 10 the rest of the way.

* Minnesota finished a season-high 10-for-17 from three-point range, hitting seven treys in the 2nd half (one shy of a club record). In their four home starts to date, the Lynx are hitting at a 46.2% clip (30-for-65) from beyond the arc. Washington entered the contest ranked 2nd in the WNBA in three-point accuracy (43.7%), including a 6-for-12 effort in the June 3 win over Minnesota. They went 7-for-19 tonight, led by Beard's career-high-tying three treys.

* The Lynx hit 50.9% (27-for-53) overall, their second 50%+ effort of the year (54.0% last Saturday vs. Charlotte). Minnesota improved to 58 percent after intermission, and is shooting 49.4% (41-for-83) in the 2nd half during its current three-game winning streak. Washington finished at 38.9% from the floor, its third sub-40% night in 2005 (0-3 in those). The Lynx improve to 4-0 when holding the opposition below 40%, and are allowing just 38.0% during the winning streak.

* Minnesota's 48-point 2nd half marks its first 40+ performance in a half this season; the franchise record for one half is 52 (at Los Angeles, July 8, 2001, 2nd half). The Lynx poured in 78 on the evening, the 2nd-highest total against Washington on the year; Los Angeles tallied 84 on May 26 at the MCI Center. The Mystics began play on Saturday ranked 2nd in the WNBA in scoring defense, allowing just 65.9 ppg.

* The Lynx held a 31-22 rebounding edge, one game after outboarding Houston by a 35-28 count. Prior to that, Minnesota had been outrebounded in four of its first five starts. The Mystics faced a 34-26 deficit Friday vs. Seattle, and were outboarded 35-22 last Sunday at New York. The Lynx handed out a season-high 22 assists, with five different players collecting 3+. It's their single-game high since a 23-assist effort vs. Seattle on Aug. 2, 2003. Minnesota also committed a season-low 13 TOs.

* Beard finished with a season-high 19 points, the third straight game she's been the Mystics' top scorer. She also swiped a season-best four steals. Meanwhile, rookie Temeka Johnson dealt four assists. She entered the contest as the WNBA's leader in assists (6.6 apg), including a 12-point/10-assist showing in the clubs' previous meeting.

* Katie Smith pumped in a season-high 27 points, the sixth consecutive game she's led all scorers. It's her fifth 20+ effort of the year (81st of her WNBA career). She now ranks 2nd in the league in scoring (20.1 ppg), trailing L.A.'s Chamique Holdsclaw (20.4 ppg). Smith tied her season best with five three-pointers, the 17th time she's drilled 5+ treys in a Lynx uniform. She needs 129 points to reach the 5000 plateau for her WNBA/ABL career.

* Abrosimova added 13 points (her fifth double-digit night) and a season-high six rebounds, while Stacey Lovelace came off the bench to tally 10 points. Vanessa Hayden left the contest after sustaining a sprained right ankle with 4:53 left in the 1st half, and did not return. Her status will be reevaluated on Sunday.