Lynx Clinch First-Ever WNBA Playoffs Berth

Katie Smith, an original member of the Lynx, leads Minnesota into the playoffs for the first time.
Barry Gossage, WNBAE/Getty Images
Aug. 20, 2003 The Lynx clinched the first playoff berth in the franchise's five-year history with Wednesday night's 69-66 victory at Phoenix. With the win, Minnesota improves to 18-14 and becomes the fourth team in the league to qualify for the 2003 WNBA Playoffs (others: Detroit in the Eastern Conference; Los Angeles and Houston in the Western Conference). Guard Katie Smith, a WNBA MVP candidate, and center Janell Burse led the Lynx with 16 points apiece.

Minnesota, under the direction of first-year head coach Suzie McConnell Serio, has already set several single-season franchise records in 2003, including most wins (18), most home victories (11) and most consecutive home wins (7). Minnesota has also tied its most road wins in team history with seven (1999, 2000). The Lynx' eight-game improvement (10-22 in 2002) is the second-best turnaround in the WNBA in 2003, and ties the fifth-best in league history.

Minnesota, currently the third seed for the Western Conference playoffs, visits the Los Angeles Sparks on Thursday at 9:30 p.m. CDT. The game will be broadcast on NBATV.

The Lynx close out the 2003 regular season on Saturday, Aug. 23 at Target Center against the Detroit Shock at 7:00 p.m. Nicole C. Mullen, a five-time Dove award winner, will perform a one-hour concert following the game. For ticket information, call 612-673-1669 or 1-877-WNBA-TIX.