Postgame Notes: July 22, 2004

Lynx 68, Sun 52
Mohegan Sun Arena

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Minnesota extended its winning streak to a franchise-record six games with Thursday's victory at Connecticut, matching the WNBA's longest unbeaten string this summer. Los Angeles, Connecticut, Seattle and New York have also run off six consecutive wins in 2004. The Lynx' previous best was a five-game winning streak (June 5-17, 2000); they improve to 3-0 on their current four-game swing, marking the first time in club history they've won three games on a single road trip.

Connecticut, returning to Mohegan Sun Arena for the first time since completing a five-game road trip Wednesday at Detroit, dropped its fifth game in seven outings to fall to 12-12. The slide began July 9, when Sacramento snapped the Sun's six-game winning streak with an 85-70 decision. Thursday's 16-point loss equals Connecticut's biggest of the year; they're 0-6 in games decided by more than 10 points.

Meanwhile, the Lynx improve to 13-9 on the season and remain within 1.5 games of second-place Seattle (14-7) in the Western Conference playoff race. Minnesota has gone 7-1 thus far in July; the most wins they've posted in a calendar month is eight, set in June 2000 (8-5).

Minnesota improves to 7-3 all-time vs. the Sun; the Lynx also defeated Connecticut 66-63 on July 14 at Target Center. Thursday's win was the Lynx' biggest ever vs. the Orlando/Connecticut franchise (71-57 at Orlando, June 8, 2000) and marked their second-largest winning margin all-time on the road (82-65 at Portland, May 31, 2001).

Minnesota limited the Sun to season lows in both scoring (52 points) and field-goal accuracy (31.8%). Connecticut's previous low-water mark was 56 points, set at Houston on July 17; they're now 0-6 when scoring fewer than 60 points and 0-7 when hitting less than 40% from the floor. Minnesota has held the Sun to two of their three worst shooting nights of the year (34.8% at Target Center, July 14). Thursday's percentage is the Lynx' second-best defensive mark in 2004 (San Antonio 25.9%, June 3 at Minnesota), and the sixth time in nine games they've held the opposition below 40% (a combined 37.9% in those).

The Lynx racked up a 42-34 rebounding edge, setting a franchise single-game record with their 42 total boards. Their previous best for a regulation contest (41) came in their previous visit to the Mohegan Sun Arena (July 23, 2003); Minnesota grabbed 47 rebounds in an OT game vs. Sacramento on Aug. 5, 2001. Tamika Williams led the Lynx with 10 rebounds; eight of those came on the offensive glass, the second-highest total in club history (Williams had 10 at Phoenix on June 23, 2002).

Katie Smith led all scorers with 27 points, including a 6-for-9 effort from beyond the arc. Her 3-pointer with 15:09 remaining in the second half pushed her past Charlotte's Andrea Stinson (3,269 points) into third place on the WNBA's all-time scoring chart. Smith finished the night with 3,280 points for her Lynx career (181 games); she now trails only Lisa Leslie (3,982 points) and Tina Thompson (3457). Smith has been Minnesota's top scorer in eight of the last nine games, and is averaging 24.2 ppg over the past five.

Nicole Ohlde blocked five shots Thursday, equaling Minnesota's single-game best previously set by Janell Burse (at Indiana, July 26, 2003); Ohlde's four blocks in the first half also tied a club mark. She's averaging 2.60 bpg over the past five contests, having already shattered Erin Buescher's single-season franchise record (29 in 2001). Ohlde ranks fifth in the WNBA overall at 1.59 bpg (35 in 22 games).