Washington Mystics beat Minnesota Lynx for second straight win
MINNEAPOLIS -- Monique Currie scored 27 points and the Washington Mystics spoiled Lindsay Whalen's home debut for Minnesota with an 87-76 victory over the Lynx on Sunday night.
Whalen finished with 12 points, 7 assists and 4 rebounds, but the Lynx lost a 15-point second-quarter lead and faded in the second half while Currie and former Lynx star Katie Smith led the Mystics to their second win in two days -- minus star Alana Beard.
Smith had 16 points for Washington, as did Crystal Langhorne. Lindsey Harding, another former Lynx player, had 14 points.
Charde Houston had 19 points and Rashanda McCants added 18 points for Minnesota, which finished 4 for 20 from three-point range. Whalen shot 4 for 11 from the floor.
Whalen, the former University of Minnesota star and native of nearby Hutchinson, was acquired in a January trade with the Connecticut Sun.
Whalen had eight points in the first quarter, and the Lynx -- which opened the season with a win on the road over Tulsa the night before -- built a 33-18 lead.
Right before the advantage reached its apex, Whalen pulled off a perfect give-and-go with Quanitra Hollingsworth by taking a football-style shovel pass, dribbling under the basket and spinning an up-an-under layup high off the glass.
The Mystics charged back, though, frustrating the Lynx with foul trouble and shooting struggles.
Langhorne's layup gave the Mystics a 44-43 lead, their first since 7-6, and the Lynx weren't able to fully recover from the momentum shift. Whalen dribbled to the lane, backed out and zipped a pass to McCants on the wing for a three-pointer to tie the game at 46.
-- STORM 81, SPARKS 67: A healthy Lauren Jackson scored 17 of her 23 points in the first half, and Seattle's Sue Bird and Tanisha Wright hit key shots in the final minutes to help the host Storm pull away for a season-opening win over Los Angeles.
Wright scored 17 points and Seattle outscored Los Angeles (0-2) 22-5 in the final eight minutes.