Lynx 59

(7-6, 3-3 away)

Mystics 50

(2-9, 1-5 home)

    Coverage: NBATV

    2:00 PM ET, June 29, 2003

    1 2 3 4 T
    MIN 30 29 59
    WSH 25 25 50

    Top Performers

    Minnesota: K. Smith 19 Pts, 4 Reb, 2 Ast, 1 Stl, 1 Blk

    Washington: N. Sanford 10 Pts, 4 Reb, 1 Stl, 1 Blk

    Inside-outside combo too much for Mystics

    WASHINGTON (AP) -- Minnesota's Katie Smith and Michele Van Gorp proved to be an inside-outside combination that the Washington Mystics simply could not stop.

    Smith scored a game-high 19 points, and Van Gorp added 17 off the bench as the Minnesota Lynx defeated the Washington Mystics 59-50 Sunday.

    Smith hit several outside shots in a big first half while Van Gorp dominated play inside during the second half.

    Minnesota (7-6) jumped ahead early as Smith made her first six shots from the field and scored 14 points in the first eight minutes as the Lynx took a 22-10 lead en route to its third straight victory.

    "That's Katie, she gets us going offensively and defensively," said Minnesota coach Suzie McConnell Serio. "I think Michele ... came in the game and changed the game."

    Washington switched to a 2-3 zone defense after Minnesota took the big lead. Smith already had scored 14 points, and the zone cooled her and the Lynx offense.

    "It just slowed down the tempo of the game," Smith said. "I don't think we adjusted really well in the first half."

    The second half was a different story when Van Gorp scored 15 of her season-high 17 and helped the Lynx slowly pull away.

    "We did a better job in the second half of attacking their zone," Van Gorp said. "We [hurt ] them from the inside as well as outside."

    The Mystics are clearly struggling without top scorer Chamique Holdsclaw, out for the second straight game with a bruised hamstring. Washington hoped to have Holdsclaw come off the bench but scratched her an hour before the game.

    Washington (2-9) has lost six straight games.

    Nakia Sanford, coming in as a substitute, led the Mystics with 10 points. No Washington starter scored in double figures.

    The Mystics bounced back from the early deficit and cut the lead to 30-25 at halftime. Washington sliced the deficit to 1 a few times early in the second half before Van Gorp helped the Lynx slowly pull away.

    Van Gorp scored nine of Minnesota's 15 points and helped the Lynx take a 51-41 lead with 6:26 left. She then made four free throws in the final 42.4 seconds to help Minnesota clinch the victory.

    "We just have to stay strong through this difficult time," Washington coach Marianne Stanley said. "We're still searching for the contribution that everyone is capable of making."

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

      Minnesota Washington
    Points 59 50
    FG Made-Attempted 23-50 (.000) 21-62 (.000)
    3P Made-Attempted 5-15 (.333) 3-16 (.188)
    FT Made-Attempted 8-12 (.000) 5-7 (.000)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 7-34 10-28
    Assists 12 12
    Turnovers 18 14
    Steals 7 6
    Blocks 8 2
    Fast Break Points 2 1
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 16 (0/0) 16 (0/0)