Minnesota Lynx History
The WNBA tipped off on June 21, 1997 with the New York Liberty taking on the Los Angeles Sparks with over 14,000 in attendance. Soon after, the WNBA saw its attendance at the New York Liberty game surpass the 1 million mark for attendance. Fans quickly took to the idea of women playing professional basketball and wanted to show their support.
In April 1998, the WNBA announced they would add two expansion teams, to be managed by the Minnesota Timberwolves and Orlando Magic, for the 1999 season. The Minnesota Lynx started their inaugural season in 1999 with 12,000 fans in attendance to watch the first regular-season game, against Detroit at Target Center.
In 2003, the Lynx finished with a then franchise-best 18-16 record and advanced to the WNBA Playoffs for the first time. Minnesota won its first-ever playoff game with a dramatic 21-point comeback in Game 1, but the Sparks won both games in Los Angeles, winning the series.
The Minnesota Lynx kicked off their 2006 WNBA season at home against Connecticut. While Minnesota lost the game, rookie guard Seimone Augustus showed a what the future would bring by scoring 21 points in her debut. Later that month, the Lynx exploded for a WNBA record 114 points in a 114-71 win over Los Angeles (May 31). The margin of victory was the second biggest in league history. Augustus had 26 to lead six Lynx in double figures, a franchise-record.
The Lynx opened the month of June with a 92-87 home win over Indiana (June 2). The game marked the second time the team broke 90 in their history; it was also the second time in as many games. Augustus went for a career-high 32 points two times in the month. In July, to the delight of 14,793 screaming children, the Lynx dispatched the Chicago Sky 90-82 in the final game of the team's five-game home stand (July 19). The win brought the Lynx record to 4-1 all-time on kid’s day. Then in Carolyn Jenkins’ debut as head coach, the Lynx picked up their second road win of the season, beating Charlotte 70-62 (July 25).
In a tough 77-73 loss to Houston in August, Nicole Ohlde led Minnesota with a career-high 25 points. She also contributed ten rebounds and five blocks. In their last home game of the season, the Lynx snapped a season-high six-game losing streak to beat the San Antonio Silver Stars 82-68 (August 6). In their final game of the year (August 13), the Lynx lost at Los Angeles 59-78. However, Augustus’ game-high 11 allowed her to break Katie Smith’s mark for most points in a season. Smith’s record of 739 was set in 2001; on the season, Augustus totaled 744.