Augustusí 39 Pace Lynx Over Monarchs

Minnesota 78, Sacramento 73

SACRAMENTO, Calif., July 29 (AP) -- Seimone Augustus scored a career-high 39 points to lift the Minnesota Lynx to a 78-73 victory over the Sacramento Monarchs on Sunday night.

Frustrating the Sacramento defense, Augustus made 16 of 25 shots for Minnesota (7-20).

"She got comfortable against us, hit a few threes and started to feel invincible,'' Sacramento's Nicole Powell said. "Seimone had an incredible game.''

Augustus' biggest basket was a long jumper that ended an 8-0 Sacramento run and put the Lynx ahead 75-69 with 1:46 remaining.

Sacramento (14-10) got within two points with 18 seconds left, but missed three 3-point attempts in the final 15 seconds, including an open look by Powell with 3 seconds left.

"It's hard to fight back like that and then count on one shot (going in),'' Powell said.

Augustus rebounded Powell's miss, was fouled and made two free throws to help Minnesota snap an 11-game losing streak to Sacramento that went back to July 11, 2004.

Eshaya Murphy scored 13 points and Svetlana Abrosimova added 10 for Minnesota, which won its second straight after snapping a 10-game losing streak Friday against Los Angeles.

"We're a young team and we never give up,'' said Augustus, the WNBA's second leading scorer. "Our season is not over, we'll continue to fight and hopefully go out with a bang.''

Powell scored 23 of her career-high 29 points in the second half. Yolanda Griffith added 14 points for the Monarchs, who dropped into third place in the Western Conference race.

Augustus picked up her fourth foul and sat the final 3:11 of the third quarter. Despite not returning until 3 minutes into the fourth quarter, the Lynx built their lead from six to 11 points.

"That was the difference, it was a tough time for the team, but they kept pushing, kept fighting and executing on offense when I went out,'' Augustus said.

The Lynx's advantage reached 15 points when Augustus made a layup with 6:06 remaining. But Powell and Griffith led a comeback by the Monarchs, eventually cutting the lead to 75-73 with 18 seconds remaining.

"We were playing a team that has been to the WNBA Finals (the last two years) and we're the youngest team in the league,'' Minnesota coach Don Zierden said. "We had three rookies out there and were trying not to panic.''