Nykesha Sales had 18 points and Lindsay Whalen 15 to lead the surging Connecticut Sun to a 71-56 victory over the visiting Minnesota Lynx last night.

With its transition offense and stingy defense, the Sun (12-2) cruised to its fourth straight win and remained unbeaten at home (6-0).

Katie Smith led Minnesota (8-7) with 11 points and had to work hard for every one of them against the Sun, which held the Lynx to 35 percent shooting. One of the top passing teams in the league, the Sun had 21 assists on 28 field goals.

Connecticut, the defending Eastern Conference champion, opened with a 14-2 spurt that included consecutive inside baskets by 7-foot-2 Margo Dydek.

The Lynx responded with its only threat, a 16-5 surge to pull to 19-18. Smith had five points in the spurt and the Lynx was right back in the game with 8 minutes 14 seconds left in the first half.

But it didn't last long. After a Connecticut timeout, Sales led the Sun on a 16-5 spurt. She hit a pair of runners, a pull-up jumper in traffic and assisted on a three-pointer by Katie Douglas.

* MONARCHS 61, LIBERTY 50: DeMya Walker had 20 points and nine rebounds to lead West-leading Sacramento (10-4) over host New York (5-6), which has lost two straight.

* SILVER STARS 81, STORM 69: Shannon Johnson scored 18 points as San Antonio handed visiting Seattle its fourth straight defeat.