20070720/WASMIN
Mystics Outlast Lynx to Grab OT Win

Washington 91, Minnesota 87 (F-OT)

MINNEAPOLIS, July 20 (AP) -- Nikki Blue scored 12 points and sank three clutch shots down the stretch as the Washington Mystics rallied from 17 down in the fourth quarter to beat the Minnesota Lynx 91-87 in overtime Friday night.

Blue made a 3-pointer with 1:32 left in regulation to give the Mystics the lead. She pushed them in front by four in overtime with a shot from just inside the halfcourt line as the shot clock expired.

After Minnesota rallied to regain the lead with 1:20 remaining, Blue hit an 18-footer from the corner to give Washington the advantage for good and send the Mystics to their fourth straight victory.

"Every day after practice we do these contests to see who can hit shots from halfcourt,'' Blue said. "I guess that finally paid off in the game.''

The Lynx lost their eighth in a row, tying a single-season franchise record set in 2000. Minnesota played the final minute of regulation and overtime without All-Star Seimone Augustus, who scored a career-high 33 points before leaving with a left hip injury.

Augustus will be re-evaluated by Lynx trainers Saturday.

"Obviously it hurts to lose,'' Lynx center Nicole Ohlde said. "We just let it slip away and then did the same thing again. Obviously, we're very disappointed.''

Tamara James was fouled shooting a 3-pointer with 2.4 seconds left in regulation and sank all three free throws to force overtime.

Two free throws from Nicole Ohlde gave Minnesota the lead with 14 seconds to play before James was fouled.

"For some odd reason we play better when we're down by 50 points,'' said Mystics guard Alana Beard, who scored 17 points - 12 in the second half. "Nikki Blue came up and gave us great minutes. Some people weren't firing on all cylinders, but people came in and did their job.''

Washington (9-12) was 42-for-55 from the free-throw line compared to 12-for-15 for Minnesota. The Mystics only tallied five assists in the game and shot 39 percent.

Washington's full-court press in the fourth quarter started the comeback and frustrated the Lynx (5-18), who turned over the ball 32 times. The Mystics will face the WNBA champion Shock on Saturday in Detroit.

"I told them in a timeout that this was a game we could win,'' Mystics coach Tree Rollins said. "So I said let's lay it all on the line and forget about tomorrow.''

Washington forward DeLisha Milton-Jones scored her 3,000th career point with 57 seconds remaining in the first quarter. Monique Currie finished with 18 points and Alana Beard and Jones both had 17.

Svetlana Abrosimova had 20 for Minnesota, and Amber Jacobs added 11 in a reserve role.

The Lynx were whistled for 35 fouls compared to 25 for Washington. The Mystics have shot 96 free throws in the team's last two meetings.