Minnesota Phoenix Notes

WNBA Post-Game Notes
Minnesota vs. Phoenix
July 29, 2005 @ Target Center

Phoenix Mercury 69
Minnesota Lynx 65

* Phoenix won for the seventh time in its last eight outings with tonight's come-from-behind victory, improving to 10-12 on the season (after a 3-11 start) and climbing to within a game of Los Angeles for 4th place in the Western Conference playoff race. The Mercury's lone blemish during the current 7-1 surge was an 80-70 home loss to New York on July 21 that stopped their four-game winning streak.

* The decision extended Phoenix' road winning streak to three, one shy of the franchise record (set in June 2000). The Mercury's other two victories on the current run both came at San Antonio (July 5 and July 23); the first of those wins halted a five-game road slide. Phoenix will visit Detroit on Sunday before returning to America West Arena to kick off a five-game homestand Wednesday against the Lynx.

* Minnesota suffered its third consecutive defeat, equaling the longest skid in Suzie McConnell Serio's tenure on the Lynx bench. She remains one victory short of tying Brian Agler (48) atop the franchise list for coaching victories, while Minnesota continues to be stalled at 99 wins all-time. At 11-12, the Lynx slip below .500 for the first time since the June 7 victory at Houston squared their record at 3-3.

* The Lynx have dropped six of nine overall, including three of their last four Target Center appearances. They missed an opportunity to overtake Los Angeles (79-59 losers tonight at Sacramento) for 4th place in the West, but are still only 1.5 games in back of 3rd-place Seattle (12-10). Minnesota will head to Sacramento on Sunday, followed by the Wednesday night stop in Phoenix.

* The win was just Phoenix' third in their last 11 meetings with the Lynx, and stopped a six-game losing streak at Target Center that dated to the Mercury's 80-67 victory on July 14, 2001. Minnesota had posted a 75-59 triumph in the clubs' first meeting this year (June 22); they lead 12-11 in the all-time series.

* Minnesota grabbed a 37-21 lead on Svetlana Abrosimova's 3-pointer with 4:57 left in the first half, and was still ahead by 13 with 12:31 remaining in the contest. However, the Mercury closed the game with a 29-12 rush, holding Minnesota without a basket over the final 5:45 (0-for-7). Diana Taurasi's only trey of the night tied it at 65-65 with 1:49 to play, and Penny Taylor scored the final four points from the line.

* It's the second-largest lead the Lynx have ever let slip away; they led Los Angeles 40-21 in the first half on July 1, 1999, before succumbing 81-77 in double-OT. Earlier this year, Minnesota squandered a 12-point cushion in losing 67-66 to Sacramento on May 29 at Target Center. The Lynx fall to 8-3 this year when leading at the half; they built a 37-30 lead Tuesday at San Antonio before losing 78-71.

* The comeback equals the fifth-biggest ever for Phoenix, whose franchise record is a 19-point rally at Washington on June 22, 1999 (winning that game 79-76). It's the second double-digit hole the Mercury have overcome this year, having spotted San Antonio an 11-point cushion early in the second half on June 15 before pulling away for a 76-62 victory. Phoenix is 3-12 in games they've trailed at intermission.

* The Lynx shot 52.1% from the floor, their fourth 50%+ effort this year (21st in club history. It's the first time Minnesota has lost when hitting 50% or better in two years (since July 5, 2003 vs. Cleveland). They finished 7-for-11 (63.6%) from beyond the arc -- the sixth-best single-game percentage in Lynx history -- but shot just 8-for-17 (47.1%) from the free-throw line, their ninth sub-50% effort all-time.

* Phoenix compiled a 12-5 advantage on the offensive glass, racking up a 13-5 edge in second-chance points, and also forced 20 Lynx turnovers. The Mercury had forced a season-high 21 miscues July 23 at San Antonio, while the Lynx had averaged just 11.7 TOs in their previous three starts.

* Taylor finished with 20 points, her fifth 20+ effort during Phoenix' 7-1 surge. In those eight games, she's averaging 19.8 ppg, 4.3 rpg and 4.6 apg, while shooting 56.8% from the field and 51.4% (18-for-35) from three-point range. Maria Stepanova notched her third double-figure scoring effort with 14 points, while Taurasi added 17 points and Anna DeForge tied her career high with five steals.

* For Minnesota, Abrosimova had 14 of her game-high 20 points in the second half. It's her second 20+ performance this year (16th career); she went 3-for-3 from beyond the arc, and has made 11 of 15 attempts (73.3%) in her last seven outings. Nicole Ohlde matched her career high by grabbing 11 rebounds, while Tamika Williams scored the 1000th point of her WNBA career late in the first half.

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