Postgame Notes: May 20, 2004

Storm 88, Lynx 85
KeyArena

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With the loss, Minnesota falls to 4-2 all-time in season openers. The Lynx won last year's opener, defeating Sacramento 72-71 at Target Center. Minnesota is 3-2 in home openers; the Lynx open their 2004 home schedule vs. Washington on Friday, May 28.

The combined total of 173 points set a franchise record for a regulation game, surpassing an 87-85 win at Washington on July 29, 2000. The Lynx and Los Angeles combined for 195 points in an overtime game on July 8, 2001, a 100-95 Sparks victory. Minnesota's 85 points also represents its highest total in a losing effort, surpassing an 87-83 loss to Los Angeles on Aug. 14, 2003.

Seattle took the lead for good with 1:23 to play when Lauren Jackson scored and was fouled, completing the three-point play for an 84-83 lead. Minnesota had a chance to tie on its final possession, but rookie Tasha Butts missed a three-pointer with 2.2 seconds left and the Storm controlled the ensuing jump ball.

Rookie Nicole Ohlde, making her WNBA debut, had a double-double of 16 points (on 7-for-10 shooting) and 10 rebounds before fouling out. It was the first Opening Night double-double in franchise history and the team's 25th point/rebound double-double overall.

Stacey Lovelace-Tolbert, who last played in the WNBA with Seattle in 2001, scored 12 points. Led by Lovelace-Tolbert's 12 and Butts' 13, the Lynx reserves combined for 29 points to Seattle’s 8.

Five Minnesota players reached double figures on Thursday (Edwards 17, Katie Smith 17, Ohlde 16, Butts 13, Lovelace-Tolbert 12), tying a franchise record set most recently on Aug. 14, 2003 vs. Los Angeles. Edwards set a WNBA career high, surpassing her previous mark of 15 set July 16, 2003.

2003 MVP Lauren Jackson scored 31 points, the fourth time in her career she's scored 30 or more. Jackson shot 11-for-16 from the field and scored 20 points in the second half. Jackson scored in double figures for the 54th straight game, dating back to June 23, 2002, tying Lisa Leslie for second place in WNBA history.

Both teams scored 49 points in the second half; that ties the third-highest-scoring half ever by the Lynx and matches the second-highest total vs. Minnesota. The Storm shot a franchise-record 35 free throws (previous: 34 vs. Minnesota on July 21, 2000 and vs. Phoenix on May 31, 2001) but made just 24 (68.6%).

Minnesota lost for the fourth time in its last five visits to KeyArena. The Lynx went 3-1 against Seattle a year ago, losing a 68-65 road decision in the final matchup on Aug. 8. Minnesota leads the all-time series 8-6.

Minnesota travels to Sacramento on Saturday and San Antonio on Wednesday to complete the season-opening three-game road trip. The home opener on May 28 begins a four-game homestand for the Lynx.
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