Minnesota Houston Notes

WNBA Post-Game Notes
Minnesota vs. Houston
August 16, 2005 @ Target Center

Houston 62
MINNESOTA 73

* Minnesota improved to 14-16 on the season and remained within a game of 4th-place Phoenix (14-14) in the Western Conference playoff chase with tonight's 11-point victory. The Lynx have won three of their last five starts, on the heels of a season-high five-game losing streak. They'll kick off a three-game West Coast trip Thursday night in Seattle, followed by stops in Phoenix (Sunday) and Los Angeles (Aug. 23).

* The Comets have dropped four of their last five outings, having stopped a three-game losing streak with Sunday's win over Seattle. Houston (16-14) slips a half-game behind the Storm (16-13) in the battle for the West's 2nd seed and first-round homecourt advantage. They'll host Phoenix on Thursday night.

* Houston's road losing streak climbs to four games, dating to a 71-69 triumph at New York on July 27. Prior to the current slide, the Comets had won six of their previous seven away from the Toyota Center. They're now 7-8 on the road, with games remaining at Los Angeles (Sunday) and Phoenix (Aug. 25).

* The Lynx are 3-1 in their last four home starts, tying a franchise single-season mark tonight by winning for the 11th time this year at Target Center. They finished 11-6 at home in both 2003 and 2004; Minnesota's regular-season home finale comes up on Aug. 27 vs. Sacramento.

* Tuesday's win enabled the Lynx to claim the season series 2-1, having split a pair of visits to the Toyota Center (losing 79-65 on May 22 before winning 62-58 on June 7). Minnesota also won the season set a year ago, and is now 5-2 vs. the Comets over the past two seasons after going 1-16 through 2003.

* The victory was Suzie McConnell Serio's 50th regular-season win on the Lynx bench, making her the 11th coach in WNBA history to reach that plateau. Houston's Van Chancellor remains the league's all-time winningest coach, putting together a 190-94 record in nine seasons; he's followed by Michael Cooper (119 wins), Richie Adubato (114) and Anne Donovan (99).

* Minnesota used a 10-1 first-half run to jump ahead by 10, before Houston shave the margin to four by intermission. However, the Lynx began the second half with nine unanswered points to claim their largest lead of the night at 47-34. The Comets battled back with a 15-3 surge, edging ahead briefly at 57-56 with 6:28 left, before Minnesota finished the contest by outscoring Houston 17-5 down the stretch.

* Houston's 62-point effort ended a run of five consecutive games in which the Lynx had allowed 70+. Minnesota had given up 71.5 ppg over its past eight starts. The Comets fall to 6-13 when coming up short of the 70-point plateau (10-1 when 70+). Houston finished at 48.0%, their best percentage since hitting a WNBA-record 65.4% in the July 26 victory at Washington. It's the third straight game they've topped 45%, and the sixth time in nine outings that Minnesota has given up 45% or better.

* Minnesota has topped 70 points in three of its last five starts (averaging 71.4 in that span), after scoring at just a 60.5 ppg clip in its previous eight. The Lynx are 9-2 when tallying 70+, and 8-3 when shooting at least 45% from the field. Their 45.9% showing tonight represents a single-game high for August.

* Houston finished 0-for-6 from three-point range, the fourth time in franchise history that Minnesota has kept an opponent scoreless from beyond the arc. The Comets went 5-for-6 in the Opening Night victory over Minnesota, but were just 1-for-7 in the Lynx' June 7 triumph in Houston.

* The Lynx finished with 21 assists (one short of their season best, and the sixth time this year they've dealt 20+), while equaling their season low with 11 turnovers. Minnesota also had just 11 miscues last Friday vs. Seattle; they'd coughed it up 20+ times in four of their previous six (averaging 19.2 per night).

* Houston's Sheryl Swoopes led all scorers with 21 points, her 15th 20+ outing of the season and the 82nd of her career. She also logged her sixth complete game of 2005. Over the past three games, Swoopes is scoring at a 26.0 ppg clip while shooting 59.6% (31-for-52) from the field. Michelle Snow chipped in 17 points, and is netting 16.7 ppg (69.0%) over her last three contests. Sancho Little hauled in a game- and season-high 10 rebounds.

* Chandi Jones reached a career best for the second straight outing, with Tuesday's 17-point effort vs. Houston following a 16-point night last Friday vs. Seattle. She also matched her career high with six assists. Nicole Ohlde tallied 16 points (12 in the 2nd half), after totaling just 17 points in her previous three appearances. In three games vs. Houston this year, Ohlde averaged 18.0 ppg (54.3%) and 8.3 rpg.

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