Postgame Notes: May 28, 2004

Lynx 73, Mystics 62
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Minnesota evened its record at 2-2 with tonight's win, moving into a fourth-place tie with Houston in the Western Conference, one game in back of San Antonio (3-1). The Lynx improve to 4-2 all-time in home openers, having beaten Sacramento 72-71 at Target Center to begin the 2003 season (May 24). They'll continue their four-game homestand on Sunday against New York (a 5:00 p.m. start).

The Lynx improve to 5-3 against Washington, with tonight's win marking the first ever for a home team in the series. Minnesota won last year's only meeting, 59-50 at the MCI Center, on June 29. Tonight's final 11-point margin also represents the first double-digit spread in the eight all-time meetings between the Lynx and Mystics; the first six were all decided by five points or fewer.

Washington slips to 1-3 on the season, dropping into sole possession of sixth place in the East. That matches the Mystics' slowest start ever after four games (also 1998 and 1999). Washington's best start came in 2002, opening 7-1 en route to a club-record 17 victories. The Mystics are 1-1 on the road in 2004, edging Indiana 68-67 last Sunday at Conseco Fieldhouse.

Minnesota never trailed, scoring on its first eight possessions to open an 18-2 lead after five minutes. The Lynx connected on six of their first seven shots, while Washington started the game 0-fo-9 from the floor. The Mystics rallied to within five by halftime, and cut the margin to 33-32 early in the second half. However, two Tasha Butts three-pointers keyed a 13-3 surge that restored Minnesota's double-digit lead.

The Lynx outrebounded Washington 35-31, the third time in four games they've held the edge. Tamika Williams hauled down a game-high nine boards, while Nicole Ohlde and Teresa Edwards had six each. The Mystics have been outrebounded in all four games to date; they're facing an average deficit of -6.8 rpg (28.5-35.3), the largest in the WNBA. Minnesota owns a +1.8 rpg advantage (32.8-31.0) thus far.

Washington forced 23 Minnesota turnovers, resulting in a 28-0 edge in points off TOs for the game. The total ties the Lynx' season high; they also committed 23 miscues on Opening Night (May 20) at Seattle, helping the Storm grab a 27-15 advantage in points off TOs.

Forward Chamique Holdsclaw paced the Mystics with 16 points and six rebounds, the fourth straight game she's led in both categories. Holdsclaw was coming off a season-high 29-point effort Tuesday vs. Los Angeles, and had notched point/rebound double-doubles in each of the previous two games. She's fourth in the WNBA in scoring (21.8 ppg), trailing Diana Taurasi, Tina Thompson and Lauren Jackson.

Washington forward Murriel Page scored the 1,500th point of her career this evening, making her the 38th player in WNBA history to reach that milestone. Page also tied her career high with four blocks. Forward Stacey Dales-Schuman added a season-high 12 points (her second double-figure outing of the year), helping the Mystics claim a 32-19 advantage in bench scoring.

Lynx guard Katie Smith led all scorers with a season-high 28 points, taking only nine shots from the field. She went 4-for-6 from three-point range, part of Minnesota's 8-for-14 effort overall; the Lynx were coming off a club-record 0-for-15 night Wednesday at San Antonio. Smith also finished 12-for-12 from the line vs. Washington, tying her own single-game mark for FT accuracy (vs. Orlando, June 15, 2000). Friday's outing boosts Smith's WNBA career total to 2,941 points; she needs 59 more to reach 3,000.
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