Lynx 83, Sun 75
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The all-time leader in combined ABL/WNBA points, Katie Smith tonight moved past Sheryl Swoopes into sixth place on the WNBA's career scoring chart.
David Sherman, WNBAE/Getty Images
Minnesota won for the fifth time in its last seven games with tonight's victory, finishing the season's first half
with a 9-8 record. It's the first time since 1999 (7-6) that the Lynx have taken a winning record into the All-Star Break. They're now within one victory of last season's total (10-22). Minnesota is 2-1 on its current homestand, which wraps up next Wednesday afternoon vs. San Antonio. The Lynx remain in fourth place in the Western Conference, a half-game behind Seattle (9-7).
Connecticut completed a winless two-game road trip, having lost a 66-50 decision at Detroit on Tuesday. It's the Sun's fourth consecutive road defeat, but just their second loss in six meetings with Western opponents this year — their first since Los Angeles handed them an 82-73 setback on Opening Night (May 24). The Sun are now 9-10 on the season, slipping into sixth place in the Eastern Conference, a half-game behind both Cleveland (8-8) and New York (7-7). They return home next Thursday to face Seattle.
Minnesota improves to 5-2 all-time
vs. the Orlando/Connecticut franchise, having won the last three at Target Center. The Lynx will make their first-ever visit to Uncasville on July 23 to complete the season series. Minnesota is now 3-3 vs. the Eastern Conference; the next three road outings will be against Eastern foes (July 17 at Cleveland, July 23 at Connecticut, July 26 at Indiana).
The Lynx poured in a season-high 83 points tonight, their highest output in regulation since scoring 87 at Washington on July 29, 2000 (a span of 87 games). It ties the fifth-highest regulation total in franchise history; the club record for a 40-minute contest is 88 points, set vs. Detroit on June 5, 2000. Minnesota has now tallied 70+ points in three straight games, averaging 77.0 ppg in that stretch.
Minnesota finished at 54.2% from the field, its third-highest single-game percentage ever and the top figure this season. The previous 2003 best was a 53.6% outing at Los Angeles on June 10. The Lynx have cracked 50% in four of their last six games, hitting a combined 49.5% in that run.
Minnesota guard Katie Smith
poured in 34 points tonight, the highest total in the WNBA this summer. (New York's Becky Hammon scored 33 against the Lynx on June 6 at Target Center.) It's Smith's second 30-point outing of the season and the 10th of her WNBA career. She moves ahead of Seattle's Lauren Jackson atop the league's scoring list for the season, averaging 19.71 ppg to Jackson's 19.67 ppg. She's tallying 23.0 ppg (57.4%) over the last 10 games, going 31-for-60 (51.7%) from three-point range.
Smith, the all-time leading scorer in U.S. women's professional basketball history, scored the 4,000th point of her career
in the second half of tonight's game. Her career total now stands at 4,013, which includes 1,431 points with the ABL's Columbus Quest. With tonight's effort, Smith (2,582 points) moves past Houston's Sheryl Swoopes (2,551) for sixth place on the WNBA's all-time scoring chart. She needs 20 more points to take over fifth place from the Comets' Cynthia Cooper (2,601).
Lynx center Tamika Williams
equaled her career high with 12 rebounds (at Phoenix, June 23, 2002). It's the fifth double-figure board outing of her career and also matches the fifth-best single-game effort in club history. Williams made all four of her shots from the floor, improving her WNBA-leading field-goal percentage to 73.5% — including 81.5% (44-for-54) in 10 Target Center appearances.
Guard Teresa Edwards
handed out a season-high eight assists, tying the third-highest total ever for the Lynx. Andrea Lloyd Curry holds the franchise mark with 11 assists (at Charlotte, July 21, 1999). Meanwhile, forward Sheri Sam
notched her fourth straight double-figure scoring night with 12 points; she's averaging 15.3 ppg (on 50.0% shooting) in that four-game stretch.
Connecticut forward Brooke Wyckoff tallied a career-high 17 points this evening (previous: 13 vs. Indiana, July 3, 2002), while forward Wendy Palmer came off the bench to score a season-best 17. Guard Shannon Johnson dished out a season-high 11 assists, her third double-figure effort of the year and just one short of her career best (12 twice, most recently vs. Utah, 7/19/02).