WNBA Post-Game Notes
Minnesota vs. Seattle
August 12, 2005 @ Target Center
* Seattle picked up its eighth win in 10 games with tonight's six-point decision, improving to 16-12 on the year and pulling a full game ahead of Houston (15-13) for 2nd place in the Western Conference playoff hunt. The Storm wrap up their brief two-game road trip Sunday against the Comets, before returning to KeyArena next Thursday to host Minnesota.
* The Lynx dropped their second 72-66 verdict in as many nights, on the heels of Thursday's overtime loss in Detroit. Minnesota finishes 2005 with a 1-2 mark on the tail end of back-to-back outings, and has now lost seven of its last nine to fall to 13-16 and into a 5th-place tie with Los Angeles (12-15). The Lynx will face Houston next Tuesday before kicking off a three-game West Coast trip with the stop in Seattle.
* The win was Seattle's first in three meetings with Minnesota this season, as the Lynx notched a pair of June victories (86-81 OT on June 15 at KeyArena, 73-70 on June 26 at home). Minnesota still leads the overall series by an 11-8 count, going 7-3 at Target Center and 4-5 in Seattle.
* Minnesota opened its biggest lead of the night at 20-15 with 11:00 left in the opening half, but Sue Bird's 3-pointer touched off a 12-2 rally that helped propel Seattle into a 39-33 halftime lead. The Lynx pulled back in front at 47-45 on a Svetlana Abrosimova trey with 16:10 to play, before another 'three' by Bird ignited a 17-3 blitz that gave the Storm their largest lead (62-50). Minnesota closed to within four when Stacey Lovelace capped a 7-0 surge with 2:06 remaining, but Seattle sealed the game with free throws.
* Seattle finished at 49.1% from the floor, climbing to 9-3 when shooting 45% or better. Minnesota has given up 45%+ shooting in four of its last six games, and falls to 2-9 when the opposition hits 45%+. The Storm have now shot better than 40% in 11 consecutive games, including five times at 45%+.
* Minnesota has permitted exactly 72 points in each of its past four starts; the Lynx' defensive average has risen to 71.5 ppg over the past eight contests, after holding their previous 11 opponents to just 61.2 ppg. Seattle moves to 15-3 when scoring 70+ points (1-9 when held below 70).
* The Lynx are scoring at a 69.2 ppg clip in five August outings, having fallen to 61.0 ppg last month. Friday's 66-point effort represents the fewest points allowed by the Storm since holding Charlotte to 60 on June 12. Seattle has held only four of its last 19 opponents below the 70-point barrier.
* The Storm held Minnesota to 36.6% shooting, their top defensive showing since Phoenix shot 35.3% on July 6. Seattle had permitted its first three August foes to hit a combined 50.6% from the field. The Lynx slip to 3-11 when finishing below 40%; they've been held under 37% in all three vs. Seattle in 2005.
* Minnesota equaled its season low with 11 turnovers, coming off a six-game stretch that saw the Lynx commit 20+ TOs four times (an average of 19.2 per night). Meanwhile, Seattle held a 34-30 rebounding edge (18-12 in the first half), the fourth time in five games they've outboarded the opposition. They're 12-3 with the board advantage, while Minnesota is 3-10 when being outrebounded.
* Bird tied her season highs with 20 points (also June 4 vs. Indiana) and five rebounds. The WNBA's leader in assists (6.0 apg), Bird also dealt a game-high six assists. Lauren Jackson contributed 17 points and 10 rebounds, her ninth point/rebound double-double this season and the 31st of her WNBA career.
* Chandi Jones led Minnesota with a career-high 16 points and matched her career best with six assists. Stacey Lovelace reached double figures for the third straight game with 10 points; she's averaging 14.0 ppg (on 60.0% shooting) over the past three. Vanessa Hayden notched her second double-double in the past three games (fourth total) with 14 points and a career-high-tying 11 rebounds.