Comets 77, Lynx 68
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Tamika Williams is shooting 87.5% from the floor in five Target Center appearances. (Lynx photo)
Houston snapped its club-record-tying four-game road losing streak with tonight's victory. It's the Comets' first win away from the Compaq Center since a 69-62 triumph at Phoenix on May 24. The slide began on June 1, when Minnesota handed the Comets a 68-64 OT setback, and included losses at Charlotte, Connecticut and Phoenix. Houston's previous four-game road drought closed the 2001 season.
The Comets, who had dropped three of four overall entering tonight's contest, square their record at 5-5 on the year. They're tied for second in the Western Conference with Seattle (4-4), four games behind L.A. (9-1). Meanwhile, Minnesota (4-5) slips into fourth place, a half-game in back of Houston and Seattle.
The Lynx suffered their second straight home loss, falling to 2-3 at Target Center. New York took away a 70-60 victory on June 6. Minnesota's last home win came in Houston's previous visit (June 1), which was also its first-ever triumph over the Comets. Houston now leads the all-time series
by a 14-1 count.
Minnesota again struggled from the free-throw line, finishing 12-for-19 (63.2%). Over their past five games, the Lynx' accuracy has dipped to 59.8%; they're 1-4 in those contests. On the flipside, Houston went 20-for-23 (87.0%) tonight. The Comets, who came into the game ranked second in the WNBA in free-throw accuracy at 80.0%, also enjoyed an 18-for-19 (94.7%) night at Target Center on June 1.
Houston shot a torrid 73.9% from the field in the first half, the highest percentage ever by a Lynx foe. The Comets finished at 53.1%, their fourth 50%+ effort in 10 games this year. In dropping four of its last five games, Minnesota's defensive percentage has climbed to 49.5%. Three of those opponents have topped 50%, including New York's 54.7% outing on June 6. The Lynx allowed just 42.4% in their first four games, highlighted by limiting Houston to 36.2% in the clubs' first meeting.
Minnesota committed just nine TOs against the Comets, its second consecutive single-digit effort (a season-low eight at Seattle on Saturday) and third this year. The Lynx have sliced their miscues to 13.7 per game in 2003, good for sixth in the WNBA; they finished 15th a year ago (16.5 per game).
Comets forward Tina Thompson erupted for a game- and season-high 30 points, the second 30+ outing of her career (31 at Portland on June 23, 2002). Thompson, who sat out Houston's previous visit to Minnesota this year due to a league suspension, also set a franchise record by going 13-for-13 from the free-throw line. She came up one short of Lisa Leslie's WNBA-record 14-for-14 night at Minnesota on July 15, 2000.
Lynx guard Katie Smith
, coming off a season-high 32-point effort in Saturday's win at Seattle, finished with 27 in tonight's contest. Smith, who also tied a single-game WNBA mark with seven three-pointers against the Storm, added three more vs. Houston. She's now just three treys shy of becoming the first player in U.S. women's pro basketball history to reach the 500 mark. Smith made 185 three-pointers in her ABL career, and has now connected on a WNBA-record 312 treys in five seasons with the Lynx.
Minnesota center Tamika Williams
finished with 12 points and a team-high six rebounds, going 6-for-7 from the floor. Williams continues to lead the league in field-goal accuracy at 73.6%, including an amazing 87.5% (21-for-24) in five Target Center appearances.