Lynx 83, Sparks 80
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Forward Sheri Sam had 11 points, six rebounds and five assists in her second game with the Lynx.
David Sherman, WNBAE/Getty Images
Los Angeles defeated the Lynx for the 13th consecutive time
, improving to 8-0 all-time at Target Center. Minnesota's lone victory over the Sparks came in the clubs' first-ever meeting, an 86-73 decision on June 24, 1999 at the Great Western Forum. Nine of L.A.'s last 10 wins over the Lynx have been by single-digit margins, including four by four points or fewer.
Minnesota slips to 1-1 on the season, having beaten Sacramento 72-71 on Opening Night last Saturday. It's the fourth straight year they've started 1-1, after winning their first two games in 1999. The Lynx visit San Antonio on Friday night, then return to Target Center on Sunday to host Houston.
The Sparks improve to 3-0 on their season-opening four-game road trip, which concludes Friday at Seattle. Los Angeles' first game at Staples Center will be on June 5 against Sacramento. The Sparks are now 41-10 on the road in three-plus seasons under Michael Cooper (84-15 overall).
Minnesota set a franchise single-game record by attempting 29 three-pointers, bettering the previous mark of 28 set most recently vs. Orlando on Aug. 28, 1999. The Lynx finished just one attempt shy of the all-time WNBA record (30), set on three occasions (most recently by Portland vs. L.A. on July 28, 2001).
Los Angeles was a club-record 20-for-20 from the free-throw line, the third-highest total without a miss in league history. Portland went 27-for-27 vs. the Sparks on July 28, 2001, while Washington was 21-for-21 at New York on Aug. 8, 2002.
The Sparks erupted for 51 points in the first half, already their third 50-point half in three games this season. L.A. matched a franchise record by scoring 55 points in the first half last Saturday at Connecticut, then tallied 50 in the second half last night at Cleveland.
Minnesota finished with 46 first-half points, just two shy of the highest-scoring first half in club history (48 vs. Utah, June 14, 1999). The clubs' combined 97 points represents the fourth-highest scoring first half ever in the WNBA, while it's two points short of the highest-scoring half involving Minnesota. The Lynx and Sparks combined for 99 points in the second half of L.A.'s 100-95 overtime win on July 8, 2001 at the Staples Center.
The Lynx' 80-point outing marks their high total in regulation since the aforementioned July 8, 2001 defeat at Los Angeles (51 games). Minnesota reached 80 once last season, an 85-80 OT home win over Detroit. In two games under Suzie McConnell Serio
, the Lynx are averaging 76.0 ppg; they finished last in the WNBA a year ago at 62.6 ppg.
Los Angeles center Lisa Leslie tallied 28 points the highest individual total in the league so far this season and 11 rebounds, her third point/rebound double-double in as many games. Leslie, the WNBA's all-time leading scorer (3239 points), is averaging 22.0 ppg and 11.0 rpg in 2003.
Lynx forward Tamika Williams
made her first five shots from the field, extending her string to a club-record-tying eight consecutive FGMs (3-for-3 vs. Sacramento last Saturday). She shares the mark with Brandy Reed and Svetlana Abrosimova
, who's accomplished it twice including an 8-for-8 start against the Monarchs last Saturday.