Postgame Notes: July 14, 2004

Lynx 66, Sun 63
Target Center

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Minnesota finished an undefeated three-game homestand with this afternoon's victory over Connecticut, its fifth consecutive win at Target Center. That's the second-longest home winning streak in club history; the Lynx ran off seven in a row last summer (July 8-Aug. 4, 2003). They've now won five of their last six overall to climb over .500 (10-9) for the first time since June 5. Minnesota pulls within 1.5 games of second-place Seattle (11-7) in the Western Conference playoff race.

The loss was just the second for Connecticut in its last nine games, dropping the Sun to 11-9 overall and 1.5 games behind East-leading Charlotte (10-7). They had a club-record-tying six-game winning streak snapped last Friday by Sacramento, but bounced back to win at Indiana on Sunday. Connecticut also saw its three-game road winning streak ended today; the Sun, 5-4 away from Uncasville, will continue their five-game road trip tomorrow night at San Antonio and Saturday at Houston.

The Lynx improve to 9-3 at Target Center, and own the WNBA's most home victories in 2004 (Indiana eight, Los Angeles seven). They'll kick off a four-game road trip tomorrow night in New York; the swing also includes a stop at Mohegan Sun Arena next Thursday to complete the season series with Connecticut. This afternoon's win increases the Lynx' edge to 6-3 in the all-time series vs. the Sun/Miracle franchise (4-2 vs. Orlando); they've won the last four in Minnesota.

A franchise-record 16,227 fans were on hand this afternoon at Target Center, surpassing the previous mark of 14,171 set vs. Orlando on Aug. 20, 1999. It's the third straight season Minnesota has hosted a weekday matinee contest; they've drawn an average of 13,176 in those three, with 12,108 in attendance on July 10, 2002 vs. Portland and 11,192 showing up for the July 16, 2003 victory over San Antonio.

Connecticut was held to 34.8% from the floor, its second-lowest percentage of the season (34.4% vs. Houston, May 25). The Sun's 63 points also matched their low since scoring 58 vs. Charlotte on June 18. Connecticut entered today's contest ranked third in the WNBA in scoring and fourth in FG accuracy, and had averaged 71.9 ppg in winning seven of its previous eight games. The Lynx have now kept four of their last six opponents under 40% from the field, giving up a combined 38.4% in that stretch (going 5-1).

Lynx rookie center Nicole Ohlde recorded season bests with 21 points and 11 rebounds (her third point/rebound double-double of the year), while adding three assists and three blocks. It's the ninth time in franchise history a player has tallied 20+ points and 10+ boards; Ohlde's 10 defensive rebounds are also the most by a Minnesota player since Svetlana Abrosimova had 10 vs. Utah on July 24, 2002.

Katie Smith finished with 15 points (including 13 in the second half) and four assists. On the season, she's tallied 61 percent of her points (209 of 341) after intermission. Smith's three-pointer with 11:58 left in the second half was the 1,000th field goal of her WNBA career, making her the eighth player in league history to reach that milestone. Tamika Williams added 10 points, her fifth double-digit effort this year.

Lindsay Whalen led the Sun with a season-high 18 points, her fifth double-figure effort in the last six games; she's averaging 12.2 ppg and 6.7 apg in those six. Taj McWilliams-Franklin added 10 points and a season-high-tying 14 rebounds, posting her fourth point/rebound double-double of 2004. McWilliams-Franklin finished one rebound short of her own franchise single-game record (15 vs. Cleveland, Aug. 12, 1999). Katie Douglas chipped in seven points, leaving her 16 points shy of the 1,000 mark for her career.