Lynx 66, Fever 58
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Katie Smith is two three-pointers away from 500 in her U.S. professional career.
David Sherman, WNBAE/Getty Images
Minnesota picked up just its second win in seven games with tonight's victory, stopping a two-game slide at Target Center. It's the Lynx' first win over Indiana since an 80-75 triumph on Aug. 6, 2000 (the clubs' first-ever meeting); the Fever had won the ensuing three contests
. Minnesota improves to 5-6 on the season and remains in fourth place in the Western Conference, a half-game behind Houston (6-6).
Indiana saw its three-game winning streak snapped, falling to 5-4 on the year and into a third-place tie with Cleveland and Connecticut in the Eastern Conference. The Fever trail Charlotte (6-4) by a half-game and league-leading Detroit (5-1) by 1.5 games. Indiana slips to 1-4 on the road, with the only win coming on June 14 at Sacramento. They're 4-0 at Conseco Fieldhouse, where the Lynx visit on July 26.
Minnesota won despite shooting a season-low 34.4% from the floor (previous low: 36.4%, June 12 at Sacramento). It's their fourth sub-40% outing of the year; however, the Lynx are 3-1 in those contests. Minnesota entered tonight's game ranked third in the WNBA in FG accuracy at 43.7%.
The Fever, meanwhile, were limited to 37.7% shooting, their third straight sub-40% night (fifth overall). That's Minnesota's second-best defensive percentage of the season; the Lynx had allowed four of their previous six opponents to top 50% (a combined 50.5%), including Charlotte's 56.8% effort on Friday.
Indiana's 58 points are the fewest the Lynx have allowed this year, eclipsing the 64 scored by Houston on June 1 at Target Center. It's the Fever's third game under 60; their season low is 51 (June 10 at Seattle).
Minnesota finished 21-for-28 from the free-throw line, establishing season highs in both categories. The Lynx had shot just 60.6% in losing five of their previous six contests. Minnesota improves to 3-1 on the year when hitting 70%+ from the line, as well as 3-1 when attempting 20+ free throws.
The Lynx outrebounded Indiana 37-34, including a 23-15 edge in the first half. The 37 rebounds are a season high for Minnesota, while the 23 first-half boards are one shy of a franchise record. Forward Sheri Sam
grabbed a team- and season-high nine rebounds, one off her career best. The Lynx are 4-2 with the rebounding edge (1-4 when coming up short).
Indiana forward Natalie Williams finished with 12 points and a game-high 10 rebounds (seven on the offensive end), her third point/rebound double-double in four games and the 46th of her career.
Fever guard Coretta Brown came off the bench to score a game-high 20 points, her second 20+ outing in as many nights (22 vs. Connecticut on Friday). Brown is the only rookie to tally 20 points in a game this year; she now ranks second among rookie scorers at 10.1 ppg, trailing Detroit's Cheryl Ford (10.2 ppg).
Minnesota had four players reach double figures, one night after tying a club record with five double-digit scorers at Charlotte. Katie Smith
led the way with 19 points, while Kristi Harrower
added a season-high 10. Smith is scoring at a 23.0 ppg clip over her last four contests. She hit one three-pointer tonight, leaving her two short of becoming the first player in U.S. pro basketball history to reach the 500 mark.