Postgame Notes: June 19, 2004

Lynx 66, Comets 58
Target Center

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Minnesota stopped its two-game losing streak with tonight's eight-point victory, climbing back to .500 at 5-5 and pulling into a third-place tie with the Comets in the Western Conference race. It's just the Lynx' second win in 18 all-time meetings with Houston, having broken the ice with a 68-64 overtime triumph last June 1 at Target Center. Minnesota kicks off a two-game road trip Tuesday night in Phoenix.

Houston, playing without leading scorer Tina Thompson for the second straight night, slipped to 6-6 on the season. The Comets saw their three-game winning streak halted with Friday's 69-63 loss to Seattle at the Toyota Center. Houston, now 3-3 on the road, continues its three-game road trip with stops in Seattle (Tuesday) and Sacramento (next Friday) before returning home to face Washington on June 27.

The Lynx shot 46.8%, breaking out of a two-game slump that saw them hit just 32.6% vs. Sacramento on Thursday and a season-low 31.0% at Los Angeles on June 11. Saturday's percentage is also the highest allowed by Houston this year; they gave up 46.7% accuracy to New York on June 3. Minnesota improves to 5-1 this year when topping 40% from the floor (0-4 when finishing below 40%).

Meanwhile, the Comets' 37.1% effort is their fifth sub-40% night of the year, while their 58 points are their second-lowest total (55 vs. San Antonio, May 20). Minnesota, which entered the game ranked second in the WNBA in FG percentage defense (behind New York) and first in three-point percentage defense, has now held four of its last seven foes under 40% from the floor and is giving up 39.7% on the season.

Minnesota racked up a 35-25 rebounding advantage, matching its biggest margin of the season (29-19 vs. Phoenix, June 5). Houston has been outboarded in three of its last four contests, including a 42-28 deficit June 12 at San Antonio. Lynx forward Tamika Williams finished with 12 points and a game- and season-high 11 rebounds, the sixth point/rebound double-double of her career. Williams also surpassed the 500-career-rebound plateau and moved into third place on the Lynx' all-time scoring chart.

Houston committed a season-low seven turnovers in tonight's contest, matching the WNBA's single-game low for 2004 (Los Angeles vs. Charlotte, June 9). Minnesota, coming off a season-high 25-TO outing in Thursday's loss to Sacramento, finished with 17 miscues (just five in the second half). The Lynx rank last in the WNBA in turnovers (18.4 per game), including 19.7 per night in six home appearances.

Katie Smith led all scorers with 22 points, her fourth 20-point outing of the season and the 71st of her Lynx career; she trails only Lisa Leslie (78) and Cynthia Cooper (72) in that category in WNBA history. Smith has now been Minnesota's top scorer in eight of 10 games this year. She also handed out a game-high five assists and grabbed six rebounds vs. Houston, and is averaging 5.6 rpg in her last five contests.

Houston forward Sheryl Swoopes, coming off a career-high-tying 33-point effort Friday vs. Seattle that pushed her over the 3,000-point mark for her WNBA career, scored 13 of her team-high 18 points in the second half of tonight's contest. Center Michelle Snow was the only other Comets player to reach double figures, finishing with a season-high 14 points.
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