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San Antonio Silver Stars (2-2) vs. Minnesota Lynx (2-1) — 7:00 PM Target Center
Where to Watch: FOX Sports North PLUS
Where to Listen: 106.1 BOB FM
The Minnesota Lynx didn't lose their first game until 11 games into last season. This season was a little different with the first loss coming in Game 3.
While it's no reason to panic, the Lynx realize they aren't bulletproof. Luckily for the Lynx, they'll be able to try to bounce back in front of their own fans on Tuesday evening at the Target Center.
At home, the Lynx are scoring nearly 90 points per game which ranks first the WNBA by more than four points. They are going up against a tough Silver Stars squad that is shooting 35.5 percent from the 3-point line and causes 16.5 turnovers per game on Tuesday, so the Lynx will have to work for it.
"They are going to be a pretty efficient team as well, they are savvy and quick," said Lynx shooting guard Maya Moore. "They can be very tough. We just have to be disciplined and make sure we do our work early so they don't get easy looks."
The Silver Stars are coached by Dan Hughes who is one of the most-respected coaches in all of women's basketball. He was the head coach for the Cleveland Rockers in 2003 when Lynx head coach Cheryl Reeve was an assistant there. Hughes was named WNBA Coach of the Year in 2001 and 2007.
Last time out
Both teams are coming off tough losses.
The Silver Stars lost a close game on Sunday night to the Chicago Sky, 72-70.
San Antonio outscored Chicago 36-27 in the second half, but that wasn’t enough to erase a first-half 45-34 deficit.
Guard Jia Perkins led the Silver Stars with 20 points to go along with five rebounds and four assists. Center Danielle Robinson scored 13 points off the bench.
Although San Antonio shot nearly 43 percent from the 3-point line, they shot just 31.4 percent from the field.
The Lynx fell 85-80 to the Washington Mystics for their first loss of the season. Things weren’t good from the get-go as the Lynx trailed 43-36 at halftime.
After shooting lights out in their first two games, the Lynx shot just 38.5 percent from the field despite having three players finish with more than 20 points. Moore and Seimone Augustus finished with 22 and 21 points, respectively, but shot a combined 15-for-44 from the field. The lone bright spot for the Lynx was forward Rebekkah Brunson who finished with a season-high 21 points and 17 rebounds. Brunson earned the Western Conference Player of the Week Award for her efforts.
Point guard Lindsay Whalen added 10 points and nine assists.
The two teams last matched up on September 23 of last season when Minnesota traveled to San Antonio. The Silver Stars won 99-84 led by Adams, who finished with 28 points. Augustus led the Lynx with 18 points.
However, to find the last time San Antonio won at Minnesota, one would have to go back to July 22, 2010. The Silver Stars snuck by the Lynx 74-72 behind 17 points from Chamique Holdsclaw.
Key matchup: Augustus vs. Perkins
For the second straight game, the key matchup will involve Augustus. In the first two games of the season, the former LSU star was lights out, shooting a combined 18-for-26. Last game, however she shot just 9-for-27 from the field.
Coach Reeve made it clear throughout the week that there are good numbers and bad numbers. Even though she scored 21 points in Saturday's game, her numbers weren't where they needed to be. For the Lynx to play well, they will need Augustus to get back on track.
Perkins, also a shooting guard, leads the Silver Stars scoring 13.5 points per game. She's never been a bona fide star in the league, but she's always been incredibly consistent, averaging at least 10 points per contest since 2007. She's coming off her best game of the season against Chicago.
The last time the Silver Stars played at the Target Center, both Augustus and Perkins scored 19 points. It was the Lynx, though, who came away with a 96-84 victory.
Another matchup to watch is Whalen against Danielle Robinson. Normally this matchup consists of Whalen vs. Becky Hammon, but Hammon will not play do to a broken finger she suffered during practice earlier this season. Robinson has fit in quite well for the Silver Stars, scoring 11.3 points and dishing out 7.5 assists per game. Whalen is averaging nine points and 7.7 assists per game.
Robinson is a quick guard, while Whalen relies more on her strength. It should be an interesting matchup.
"Their point guard is playing great. She's speed, maybe the fastest point guard in the league," Reeve said. "They are down some franchise players with no Sophia Young or Becky Hammon, so, it doesn't faze them. They are going to play hard. Jia Perkins is a fantastic player. .. If we're not on point, it will be a hard night for us."
Bonus: The Class of 2011 is in the House
Four of the top players from the 2011 WNBA Draft will play prominent parts in this game.
The Lynx have Moore (University of Connecticut), who was drafted No. 1 overall and Amber Harris (Xavier), who was drafted at the four spot.
The Silver Stars have Robinson, drafted sixth and Adams, with the No. 20 spot.
"It's going to be pretty cool," Harris said. "Those players are all good people."
Moore has been the most successful out of the bunch, averaging 15.2 points and 5.3 rebounds throughout her career. Harris is averaging 3.6 points and two rebounds per game throughout her career, but is averaging eight points per game this season.
Robinson (Oklahoma) has put up 9.2 points and 4.3 assists per game, and is having her best season yet in 2013, mostly due to the 34 minutes per game she's receiving. Adams (Texas A&M) is averaging 12 points and 4.5 rebounds in her career, which is a pleasant surprise for a second-round pick.
"There is a sense of familiarity with them," Moore said. "We played with or against each other for a while. We want to make sure our two players from the draft class come away with a win."
The Lynx will have their full roster available, while the Silver Stars will be without forward Sophia Young (Knee) and Hammon (Finger).
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