Minnesota Connecticut Notes

WNBA Post-Game Notes
Minnesota vs. Connecticut
July 17, 2005 @ Target Center

Connecticut 72
MINNESOTA 53

* Connecticut ended the Lynx' six-game home winning streak with tonight's decision, dealing Minnesota only its second loss at Target Center this season (67-66 vs. Sacramento, May 29). The club record of seven straight home victories was established in July 2003; the Lynx put together a six-game run last July. The final 19-point margin represents Minnesota's biggest loss of the season, and equals the second-biggest home setback in franchise history. They drop to 10-9 on the year, a half-game in front of 5th-place Seattle in the Western playoff chase.

* The Sun complete a sweep of their two-game set with Minnesota for 2005, having notched a 71-56 home win on June 30. Connecticut had dropped its previous four visits to Target Center, dating to an 83-80 overtime triumph on Aug. 20, 1999 (when the Sun franchise was based in Orlando). Tonight's win kicked off a three-game road trip for the Sun, which includes matinee outings Tuesday at Charlotte and Wednesday at Detroit.

* Connecticut improves to 12-1 against Western opponents, with the lone setback coming June 22 at Seattle (95-86). The Sun have just one game remaining vs. the West this year (Aug. 9 vs. Los Angeles); they're 14-4 overall, holding a 2.5-game lead on Indiana in the East and a one-game edge on Sacramento (13-5) for the WNBA's best record this summer. Nine of Connecticut's 14 victories have been by double-digit margins, including a pair of 20-point wins (June 10 at Houston, June 20 at Los Angeles).

* Minnesota dug a 10-0 hole in the game's opening four minutes, then rallied to within three before the Sun rebuilt a 39-30 halftime advantage. Connecticut opened the 2nd half with a 10-4 surge, before the Lynx closed the gap to 51-44. However, the Sun outscored Minnesota 17-1 over the next six minutes to grab their biggest lead of the night at 68-45. In the clubs' first meeting, the Lynx fell behind 14-2 to start the contest, then saw Connecticut begin the 2nd half with a 12-2 blitz to double its lead from 10 to 20.

* The Lynx were held to 53 points, their 2nd-lowest total of the year (50 at Sacramento, June 17). They've come up short of 60 in six of their last 11 starts, averaging just 61.3 ppg in those 11 after beginning the season at 71.1 ppg in their first eight contests. It's Connecticut's 2nd-lowest defensive effort as well (61-50 at Sacramento, June 24); they've given up more than 70 points just three times this year (going 0-3).

* Connecticut limited Minnesota to 29.3% from the floor, its best defensive effort of the season and only the ninth time in franchise history that the Lynx have been kept below 30% from the floor. They shot 35.5% in the June 30 meeting at Mohegan Sun, one of nine times the Sun have kept their opponents under 40%. Minnesota had shot a combined 49.1% in its first three July outings, including a 52.9% effort in Friday's win at New York.

* The Sun finished at 50.0%, matching the highest percentage allowed by Minnesota this year. Connecticut also shot an even 50.0% in the June 30 contest vs. the Lynx. Connecticut, which entered tonight's play as the WNBA's leaders in both scoring (74.5 ppg) and field-goal accuracy (46.2%), have hit 50% or better seven times in 2005. Their 72-point outing is the most against Minnesota since Seattle tallied 81 on June 15 at KeyArena (an 86-81 overtime victory for the Lynx). Connecticut has topped 70 points in 14 of its 18 games to date.

* Minnesota faced a 23-9 scoring deficit in points off turnovers, the third time in four games they've allowed 20+ points in that category. New York racked up a 22-6 margin on Friday, while Charlotte outscored the Lynx 29-9 on July 7 at the Charlotte Coliseum. Over the last four, Minnesota is giving up 22.5 ppg off TOs (scoring 9.5).

* Connecticut center Margo Dydek led all scorers with a season-high 17 points (in a season-best 32 minutes), ending a string of 10 consecutive single-digit scoring nights. Dydek, the WNBA's career leader in blocked shots, added three blocks tonight raise her career total to 699; she also had a team-high eight rebounds and four assists.

* Amanda Lassiter topped Minnesota with a season-high 11 points, helping the Lynx pile up a 23-13 scoring advantage off the bench. Lassiter, who also logged a season-best 29 minutes, went 3-for-5 from beyond the arc, while newly-acquired Tynesha Lewis chipped in eight points in 13 minutes off the Minnesota bench. Katie Smith finished with 11 points, but was held scoreless over the game's final 29 minutes.

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