Washington Mystics beat Minnesota Lynx for second straight win

Associated Press
Monday, May 17, 2010; D07

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.

-- DREAM 66, FEVER 62: In Atlanta, Erika DeSouza had 14 points and 11 rebounds and Atlanta held Indiana to four points in the fourth quarter to beat the Fever.

Indiana (0-2) led by seven points in the third quarter and 58-53 entering the fourth but only made one basket until the closing seconds.

Tamika Catchings scored 18 points and Ebony Hoffman added 17 for the defending Eastern Conference champions.

Armintie Price scored 14 and Angel McCoughtry had 10 points for the Dream (2-0) despite needing three stitches to close a cut on her lower lip in the first half after getting elbowed by Catchings.

-- LIBERTY 85, SKY 82: Cappie Pondexter and Taj McWilliams-Franklin got the new-look New York squad off to a winning start in their Liberty debuts.

Pondexter scored 22 points, McWilliams-Franklin had 20 and New York beat visiting Chicago to win its season opener.

The Liberty used an 18-0 run in the third quarter to take a 16-point lead, before allowing the Sky (0-2) to tie the score late in the fourth quarter.

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