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May/June (9-5) The Lynx opened their second WNBA season with a 73-62 victory over the Cleveland Rockers at Target Center. Katie Smith exploded for a new Minnesota single-game scoring high of 34 points. After the opening night victory, the Lynx dropped consecutive games at Utah and against Los Angeles. Minnesota returned to the .500 mark with an 88-68 victory vs. the Detroit Shock on June 5. The Lynx, who never trailed in the game, set a franchise single-game high with 88 points. A sweep of a two-game sunshine state road trip followed with wins in Orlando and Miami. Minnesota’s 14 point victory (71-57) in Orlando was the team’s largest road win in history. Against the Sol, Smith tallied a team-high 24 points and set another club record with a perfect 12-12 performance from the free throw line. A week later in a return match-up against the Miracle at Target Center, the Lynx set a club record with their fourth consecutive victory (72-66). The team extended their win streak to five games with a road victory against Phoenix. Minnesota held the Mercury scoreless in the final 6:54 of regulation to earn its first victory at America West Arena. The third consecutive road win also set a new Lynx high water mark. Riding a five game win streak, the Lynx traveled to Houston to face the only team that swept the season series from Minnesota in their inaugural year. At the time, it was the battle of the two teams with the best records in the Western Conference: Houston 8-1 and Minnesota 6-2. The Comets remained unbeaten against Minnesota as they pulled out the 78-66 victory behind a combined 64 points from Cynthia Cooper, Sheryl Swoopes, and Tina Thompson. The Lynx suffered their second two-game losing streak of the season with a 19 point home loss to Phoenix, the largest home court defeat in team history. The Mercury shot a scorching 53.8% from the field, the highest field goal percentage attained by a Lynx opponent. Minnesota snapped its two game losing skid with back-to-back victories over Utah and Cleveland. In yet another first, Minnesota recorded its first overtime win on Smith’s three-pointer with :00.7 remaining to dump the Rockers, 60-57. A defeat in Sacramento and a victory over the expansion Seattle Storm ended the Lynx’s opening month. The victory against Seattle came with a steep price as Minnesota lost the services of center Andrea Lloyd Curry for the rest of the season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament. Minnesota ended the month winning eight of their last 11 games and three of their final four. The Lynx posted records of 4-2 at home, 5-3 on the road, 6-0 vs. the Eastern Conference and 3-5 vs. the Western Conference. Smith not only led the Lynx, but the entire WNBA with 21.9 ppg as she tallied 20+ points in eight games and reached double-figures in all 14 contests. To round out the month, Smith connected on 50 of her last 51 free throw attempts.
July (4-9, 13-14) Minnesota opened the month of July with a four game home stand at Target Center. The Lynx stifled Portland, 81-75, behind the one-two scoring punch of Smith (32) and Betty Lennox (29). However, the Lynx dropped the remaining three home games to Seattle, New York, and Houston. The loss to the Liberty marked the Lynx’s first defeat at the hands of an Eastern Conference opponent (6-1). Minnesota embarked on a franchise-long five-game, 12-day road trip beginning in Phoenix on July 11. A team record four game losing streak was tied after a 64-54 defeat to the Mercury in which the Lynx shot a season low 33.9% from the field. During the week, Smith and Lennox were selected to play in the 2000 WNBA All-Star Game on July 17 from America West Arena. Another loss followed in Portland (65-54) and the Lynx record returned to .500 at 10-10. In the game, Minnesota set a WNBA single-game record for fewest free throws made: one. The following day, the Lynx suffered a tough one point loss to Los Angeles (58-57) on two Tamecka Dixon free throws with 1.3 seconds remaining. Minnesota (10-11) dipped under .500 for the first time since June 3. A 73-56 defeat by the Monarchs, left the Lynx two games under .500 (10-12) for the first time all season. Minnesota’s losing skid reached eight games after the team committed a season-high 23 turnovers in a 67-61 loss to Seattle at KeyArena on July 21. The Lynx returned to Target Center on July 23 and broke the eight game skid with an 80-63 win against Portland. Despite a slow start from the field (1-10 FGM), the Lynx regrouped and an 18-5 second half spurt sealed the victory. During the eight losses (0-3 at home and 0-5 on the road), the Lynx scored 59.0 ppg, allowed 67.5 ppg, and shot 39.8% from the field. The Lynx swept the season series with Miami with a convincing 68-44 victory at Target Center on July 28. The 24 point victory tied the largest in franchise history as the Lynx connected on a team-best 72.7% (8-11) from beyond the three-point arc. The Lynx traveled to the MCI Center on July 29 for their first and only meeting with Washington during the season. Lennox scored a season-high 31 points en route to a 87-85 Lynx win, the highest combined scoring output in Minnesota history. Smith contributed 22 points, including four 3-pointers, giving her 79 on the season and passing Crystal Robinson for the WNBA single-season record. The win also marked head coach Brian Agler’s 100th professional victory, making him the first coach in the history of U.S. women’s professional basketball to record 100 wins. Prior to joining the Lynx, Agler attained a 72-18 record in two seasons as head coach of the ABL’s Columbus Quest. Riding a three game winning streak, the Lynx returned home to face the Los Angeles Sparks whom they had not yet defeated in two previous meetings. The Sparks swept the season series (3-0) following a 73-66 victory. During Minnesota’s three game winning streak, the team averaged 78.3 ppg, shot 46.3% from the field and 52.3% from behind the three-point stripe. In the last five games of the month, Kristin Folkl increased her averages to 8.0 ppg and 6.8 rpg while shooting 48.1% from the field. Smith averaged 4.0 assists in the last seven games and led the team in assists in four of the last seven contests. In the Lynx’s last seven victories, Lennox averaged 23.3 ppg on 50.9% shooting. During the eight game losing skid, Lennox’s averaged dipped to 12.6 ppg.
August (2-3, 15-17) Eliminated from playoff contention on the first day of the month, the streaky Lynx opened August with two consecutive home losses to Utah and Sacramento. Minnesota rebounded to post an 80-75 win in the regular season home finale against the Indiana Fever. This was the first-ever meeting between the two teams. With the win, the Lynx restored their home record to 8-8, the identical home mark of the previous season. Minnesota closed out the regular season on the road and split their final two games. In their only meeting of the season, the Lynx upended the Charlotte Sting, 76-67. Lennox and Smith combined to score 50 of Minnesota’s 76 points. The Lynx finished the season with a 10-1 record vs. the Eastern Conference with the only loss being a 76-70 set back to New York on July 7. Minnesota completed its second season in the WNBA with a 77-64 defeat at the Compaq Center to the Houston Comets. Houston’s Tina Thompson scored a game-high 25 points as the Comets remained the only team Minnesota has yet to defeat in two seasons (0-7). The loss dropped the Lynx to 15-17, the identical record the club attained during its inaugural campaign. Minnesota lost 11 of its last 12 games vs. Western Conference teams, finishing with a 5-16 record against its western foes. Smith and Lennox finished the season as the second highest scoring duo in the WNBA. Smith became only the fourth player in WNBA history to average over 20 ppg (20.2 ppg). She finished the season with 88 three-point field goals, the WNBA’s single-season record. Lennox, who led all WNBA rookies with 16.9 ppg, earned the 2000 WNBA Rookie of the Year Award. Both players received All-WNBA Second Team honors.