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20080527/MINHOU
Lynx-Comets Preview
By MATT BECKER, STATS Writer

After spending the past four years playing their home games at the Toyota Center, the Houston Comets are set to begin a new era at Reliant Arena.

The Comets hope the change of scenery can help them get their first win of the season as they play their initial game at Reliant Arena on Tuesday against the Minnesota Lynx.

Houston (0-2) won four titles while playing in the Compaq Center from 1997-2003, but was never able to match that success at the Toyota Center.

The Comets, who made two playoff appearances while playing at the Toyota Center, opened last season a franchise-worst 0-10 and dropped their first four home games before defeating Los Angeles 74-64 on June 20.

Houston has again gotten off to a slow start. It lost 85-66 to Detroit in its season opener on May 17 and fell to Washington 69-66 on Sunday.

There was one tie and three lead changes in the final 1:24 Sunday, but Tamecka Dixon missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer that would have forced overtime. Through two games, the Comets are shooting 8-of-26 (30.8 percent) from 3-point range and have turned the ball over 47 times.

Dixon, who scored only four points in the season opener, finished with 10 on Sunday, while Tina Thompson led Houston with her second straight 17-point game.

Thompson averaged 23.7 points and 8.3 rebounds in three games against Minnesota last season with the Comets winning each time. Houston has won five straight over the Lynx.

Minnesota (1-0) finished 10-24 last season, but appears to have a strong group of rookies to help two-time All-Star Seimone Augustus.

In their season opener on May 18, the Lynx defeated the Shock 84-70, as rookie Charde Houston scored a game-high 21 points.

Houston, a third-round pick, was joined by Candice Wiggins, the No. 3 overall selection, and Nicky Anosike, the No. 16 pick in this season's draft. Anosike started at center and had 11 points and 11 rebounds, while Wiggins added 15 points.

"It felt great to start the season off with a win and to really just bring a lot of passion and have a lot of fun," Wiggins said. "It is really up to us to keep that same focus and same intensity that we had this game."

Augustus, the league's second-leading scorer last season (22.1), finished with 14 points on 6-for-14 shooting.

"When we came in as a coaching staff a year ago it was Seimone averaging double-figures and then everybody else," Lynx coach Don Zierden said. "We have four today in double-figures. We are going to have to play that way because we are so young."

Augustus, the top overall pick in the 2006 draft and a two-time All-WNBA second-team selection, averaged 23.3 points against the Comets in 2007.

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