Lynx 77, Monarchs 59
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Jordan Adams made her WNBA debut in Tuesday's win.
Minnesota evens its record at 8-8 with tonight's victory, halting a two-game slide that included losses at Houston (July 1) and vs. Cleveland (July 5). The Lynx have one game left — Thursday vs. Connecticut — before breaking for Saturday's WNBA All-Star Game. Minnesota remains in fourth place in the Western Conference playoff race, one game behind Seattle (9-7) and 1.5 games in back of Houston (10-7).
The Monarchs fall to 7-11 on the season, completing an 0-3 road trip during which they lost at Connecticut (July 4) and Charlotte (July 5). Sacramento, which had won four of its previous five starts before the trip, drops two games behind the Lynx for the West's final playoff berth. The Monarchs will head home to face Cleveland on Thursday.
Sacramento still leads the all-time series
by a 9-7 count, although the Lynx have won five of the last eight meetings — including four straight at Target Center. Minnesota is 2-1 this year vs. the Monarchs, and will complete the season series Aug. 9 in Sacramento.
Tonight's 18-point victory is the Lynx' biggest ever against Sacramento, as well as their largest winning margin overall this season. Minnesota's previous best in 2003 was a 75-65 triumph at San Antonio on May 30. The loss also equaled Sacramento's biggest of the season (79-61 vs. Los Angeles, June 7).
The Monarchs finished with 59 points, their third sub-60 effort this year and tying the fewest points they've ever scored against Minnesota (July 27, 1999 at ARCO Arena). The Lynx have now held four of their last six opponents below 60 points, winning all four of those games. Sacramento's 39.3% shooting night also marked the fourth time in six games that Minnesota has kept the opposition below 40%.
Minnesota compiled a 35-31 rebounding advantage, the seventh time in 10 games they've held the edge. The Lynx have outrebounded their opponents by a +3.2 rpg margin (30.0-26.8) over the last 10; they're 7-2 this season when holding the board edge.
Sacramento center Yolanda Griffith finished with 17 points and a season-high-tying 16 rebounds this evening, her eighth point/rebound double-double of the season and the 65th of her WNBA career. Guard Ticha Penicheiro reached double figures for the fourth straight game, scoring 12 points. She's averaging 11.5 ppg in the last four, after tallying just 4.5 ppg in her first 14 outings this year.
Lynx guard Katie Smith
led all scorers with 26 points, her sixth 20+ effort of the season (fifth in the last nine games). She's scoring at a 21.8 ppg clip over the last nine, hitting 57.0% from the field — including 50.0% (26-for-52) from three-point range. Smith, the all-time leading scorer in U.S. women's pro basketball history (ABL/WNBA), now needs 21 points to reach the 4,000 mark for her career.
Minnesota center Tamika Williams
went 7-for-7 from the floor in the first half tonight, extending her string of consecutive FGMs to a club-record nine. Williams continues to lead the WNBA in field-goal accuracy at 72.3%, including an amazing 80.0% (40-for-50) at Target Center. The league's single-season record is 62.9%, set by Portland's Alisa Burras last summer.
Lynx forward Sheri Sam
tallied 16 points vs. Sacramento, her third straight game with 16 or more. Over the last three, she's averaging 16.3 ppg while shooting 50.0% from the field. Meanwhile, guard Teresa Edwards
equaled a franchise record with six steals tonight; Williams, Lynn Pride and Sonja Tate also own a share of that mark.