Stars 53

(6-18, 2-11 away)

Lynx 66

(14-10, 10-3 home)

    8:00 PM ET, July 28, 2004

    Target Center, Minneapolis, MN

    1 2 3 4 T
    SA 23 30 53
    MIN 34 32 66

    Top Performers

    San Antonio: A. Goodson 10 Pts, 3 Reb, 1 Ast

    Minnesota: T. Williams 13 Pts, 2 Reb, 2 Ast, 3 Stl

    Williams lead Lynx in place of injured Olympian

    MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- Playing without leading scorer Katie Smith didn't seem to faze the Minnesota Lynx on Wednesday night.

    Tamika Williams scored 13 points to lead a balanced attack, and the Lynx defeated the San Antonio Silver Stars 66-53.

    Smith, a member of the U.S. Olympic team and the WNBA's third-leading scorer at 18.8 points per game, will miss the rest of the first half of the WNBA season with a bruised knee she suffered in a loss to Washington on Friday. Smith's teammates combined to fill her role on Wednesday as four players scored at least nine points.

    "We knew going in that one person was not going to replace Katie," Lynx coach Suzie McConnell Serio said. "This team realizes that it will be a team effort when we win. They were ready for the challenge tonight."

    Svetlana Abrosimova replaced Smith in the starting lineup and contributed nine points and six rebounds in her first start of the season. Rookie Nicole Ohlde chipped in 10 points and Helen Darling added nine points and five steals.

    "When you don't have Katie, it's a huge responsibility for everybody to step up," said Abrosimova, a former starter who is recovering from an offseason back injury. "For me personally, I knew I had to take advantage of this opportunity to start. It just felt great to be out there and give the team energy."

    The Silver Stars also played without their Olympian, guard Shannon Johnson, who dressed for the game but sat out with a bruised knee. Without Johnson, the San Antonio offense struggled to find its stride in the first half, when 14 turnovers led to a 34-23 halftime deficit.

    "We've had that problem all year -- teams jumping on us early," Silver Stars coach Dee Brown said. "Teams get out more aggressive than we are, and we don't follow the challenge."

    Semeka Randall and Adrienne Goodson each scored 10 points for the Silver Stars, who pulled within single digits just once in the second half.

    The Lynx have won nine of their last 11 games and six straight at home, while the Silver Stars have lost four straight overall and seven consecutive road games. Minnesota now trails second-place Seattle by one game in the Western Conference, and the Lynx will host the Storm on Friday before entering the Olympic break with a game at defending champion Detroit.

    "The next two games will really test our character," Williams said. "I think when you take a big element like Katie Smith away from any team -- or any great player from a team -- the team is going to rise. Now, how long they keep it shows the character of the team. There was no doubt in my mind that we were going to come back starving and anxious and wanting to prove things."

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

      San Antonio Minnesota
    Points 53 66
    FG Made-Attempted 23-52 (.000) 24-50 (.000)
    3P Made-Attempted 2-6 (.333) 3-13 (.231)
    FT Made-Attempted 5-6 (.000) 15-27 (.000)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 4-23 10-29
    Assists 13 18
    Turnovers 20 18
    Steals 7 15
    Blocks 1 3
    Fast Break Points 2 5
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 26 (0/0) 12 (0/0)