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May/June (5-6) -- The Minnesota Lynx won their third consecutive season opener with an 82-65 victory at Portland on May 31. The 17-point victory was the largest road win in franchise history. Forward Katie Smith poured in a game-high 31 points while Lynn Pride grabbed a team-high seven rebounds against her former teammates. On June 2, Phoenix downed Minnesota 89-80 at Target Center, handing the Lynx their first loss in a home opener. For the second time in her career, Smith was named WNBA Player of the Week for her play during the week of May 31 - June 3. On June 9, Minnesota held a double-digit lead against the undefeated Los Angeles Sparks (4-0) with 10 minutes remaining before the Sparks rallied to upend Minnesota 62-60 at Target Center. The previously winless Indiana Fever (0-5) provided the Lynx their third consecutive home setback (65-60). Minnesota not only suffered a defeat against Indiana, but the team lost point guard Kristi Harrower for the season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament in her left knee. In the return matchup against the Fever, Stephanie McCarty sank a running jumper with 1.2 seconds left to give Indiana a 67-65 victory at Conseco Fieldhouse. Minnesota snapped its four-game losing streak with a 71-63 win at Detroit the following night. Smith set a franchise-record with 40 points and joined Cynthia Cooper as the only players in WNBA history to reach the 40-point plateau. Smith accounted for a league-record 56.3% (40 of 71) of her team's points. The loss did not come without a steep price, as Minnesota lost the reigning WNBA Rookie of the Year, Betty Lennox, with a strained left hip capsule. The injury would force Lennox to miss the next 20 games. Minnesota reeled off another victory with a 63-57 win against Miami at Target Center on June 22. Minnesota holds a 3-0 all-time series record against the Sol. Svetlana Abrosimova, the team's first-round draft pick, made her debut against Miami and tallied five points in 18 minutes. Abrosimova started the season on the injured list with a foot injury she suffered during her senior season at Connecticut. The Lynx' two-game winning streak was snapped the next night in Utah as the Starzz handed Minnesota an 87-80 setback at the Delta Center. Back-to-back wins at Washington (55-51) and against Seattle (68-59) evened Minnesota's record at .500 (5-5) for the first time since June 2. However, the team dipped below the .500 mark following a 59-52 home loss against Houston on the last day of June. The Lynx scored a franchise-low 11 points in the first half, the second fewest in a single half in league history. The win was the Comets eighth straight victory against Minnesota. The Lynx completed June with a 5-6 record, the first time in three seasons that the franchise posted a losing record in the WNBA's opening month. Smith led the team and the league with 24.6 ppg. Prior to her injury, Lennox averaged 12.5 ppg and a team-leading 7.8 rpg. In her five games, Abrosimova posted averages of 8.2 ppg and 7.0 rpg.

July (2-11, 7-17) -- The Lynx opened July with four straight losses. A 52-47 defeat at Cleveland on July 1 was followed by the worst loss in franchise-history, a 39-point (91-52) defeat at Target Center versus Sacramento. Following a loss to New York (70-57), the Lynx' home record fell to 2-6. On July 8 in Los Angeles, the Lynx and Sparks engaged in a WNBA regular season classic. Trailing by 17 points with 13 minutes left in the contest, Minnesota rallied and took the lead with under a minute remaining. The Sparks' Ukari Figgs' three-pointer with 15.1 seconds on the clock sent the game into overtime. Los Angeles took control in the extra session by rattling off 12 unanswered points and defeated Minnesota (100-95) for the eighth consecutive game. In the defeat, Smith set the WNBA single-game scoring record with 46 points, topping Cynthia Cooper's previous high of 44 points. Smith's 18-for-19 effort from the free throw line was the second most prolific in league history. With a combined 195 points, the game was the highest scoring contest in the WNBA this season and the third highest scoring game of all-time. The Lynx (6-10) snapped their five-game losing skid with a 73-52 victory against Portland at Target Center. New York defeated Minnesota for the second time in 2001 with a 67-64 victory at Madison Square Garden. The next night, Phoenix downed Minnesota for the second time at Target Center (80-67). In the team's first game after the WNBA All-Star break, the Lynx won their second straight from the Storm, 68-58 at Target Center. Abrosimova led the team with 21 points, the first game of the season (18 straight) Smith had not topped the Lynx in scoring. Despite the proximity to Disney World, Minnesota's lone game against Orlando didn't prove to be much fun. The Miracle handed the Lynx a 71-49 loss on July 21 that dropped the team's record to 7-13 and started the second five-game losing skid of the season. Losses to Houston (51-46), Washington (62-60), Utah (68-60 OT) and Los Angeles (78-69) closed out the month of July for Minnesota and dropped the team to 10 games under .500 (7-17) for the first time in franchise history. The July 23 loss to the Comets saw Minnesota establish a franchise-low single-game record by shooting only 20.0% (11-for-55) from the field. In Minnesota's loss to Washington on July 23, Smith became the second-fastest player (84 games) in league history to record 1,500 points. The July record of 2-11 set a franchise record for fewest wins in a month.

August (5-3, 12-20) -- Minnesota opened the final month of the regular season with a 68-63 victory at Phoenix on Aug. 1. Smith (36 points) topped the 30-point mark for the sixth time this season. Smith also joined Utah's Natalie Williams as only the second player in U.S. women's professional history (ABL/WNBA) to score 3,000 points. Smith recorded her 3,000th point on a layup with 5:57 remaining in the first half. She tallied 1,433 points in her two-year stint in the ABL. A 72-64 home loss to Charlotte (August 3) officially eliminated the Lynx from playoff contention. Minnesota posted a thrilling 79-76 overtime victory against Sacramento on August 5 which featured the return of Betty Lennox, who scored nine points in seven minutes in her first game back from the injured list. Abrosimova recorded a double-double with 21 points and a club-record 15 rebounds. A return battle against the Monarchs in Sacramento two days later resulted in a 76-59 loss. However, the Lynx responded with a season-high three-game winning streak. Road victories in Portland (70-58) and Seattle (65-51) were followed with a 69-62 win over playoff bound Utah in the home finale on August 12. The victory at Portland featured a Lynx team first as two Minnesota players recorded double-doubles in the same game (Abrosimova 12 points/10 rebounds and Smith 27 points/10 rebounds). The win also marked the first time in team history that the Lynx has swept a regular-season series from a Western Conference opponent (3-0). In the home finale in front of a Target Center season-high of 10,489 fans, Lennox led the Lynx with 18 points and Abrosimova recorded her third consecutive point/rebound double-double with 13 points and 12 rebounds. The Lynx wrapped up the 2001 WNBA campaign with a 74-60 defeat at the hands of the Houston Comets. Houston remains the lone team that the Lynx have yet to defeat in three seasons (0-10). The 5-3 August record provided the Lynx with their third winning month in franchise history.

Minnesota finished the season with a 12-20 record, including identical 6-10 records at home and on the road. The team's six home victories were the fewest recorded by a WNBA team in 2001. However, the Lynx had a 4-1 mark in the five games in which Abrosimova, Lennox and Smith played (Lennox missed the final regular season game in Houston), including two victories against Western Conference playoff teams (Utah and Sacramento). The Lynx finished the 2001 campaign with a 12-3 record when leading at the intermission compared to an 0-17 mark when trailing after 20 minutes of action.

Smith rewrote the WNBA single-season record books as she captured seven league single-season records: points (739), highest scoring average (23.1 ppg), free throws made (246), free throws attempted (275), three-point field goals attempted (240), minutes played (1,234) and highest average minutes (38.6 mpg). She also tied the league record for most complete games (40 minutes) with eight. Abrosimova finished first among WNBA rookies and 11th overall with 6.7 rpg. Lennox ranked 14th in the league in three-point field goal percentage with 38.5% (20-for-52). Kate Paye's 3.0 apg was 13th best in the WNBA.

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