Minnesota (5-0) at Connecticut (3-0)

By ALAN FERGUSON, STATS Writer Thursday, May 31, 2012 Kickoff: 7:00 pm EDT Fri Jun 1, 2012

The Minnesota Lynx are on the verge of securing their best start in franchise history. So is their next opponent.

The Lynx will try to improve to 6-0 on Friday night when they visit the unbeaten Connecticut Sun, winners of seven straight at home in the series.

Minnesota blew a 24-point lead Wednesday night in Washington, but Lindsay Whalen bailed her team out in a 79-77 win. Whalen scored the Lynx’s final seven points, including a last-second putback, to help them match their 5-0 start from 2008.

Minnesota also extended its franchise-record road winning streak to seven games, which began after their most recent visit to Connecticut.

“Other people go there hoping to steal a game on the road. We’re going there to win the games. I think that mentality is one that’s proved to be good for us,” coach Cheryl Reeve told the team’s official website.

The defending WNBA champion Lynx have won 11 straight overall and 21 of 23 dating to last season.

Minnesota’s next opponent, though, is off to its own superb start thanks to the efforts of a pair of U.S. Olympians - Tina Charles and Asjha Jones - and former Minnesota guard Renee Montgomery.

Montgomery scored a team-best 23 points off the bench during an 83-79 win over visiting San Antonio last Friday night, and Charles became the fastest player to grab 800 career rebounds.

Montgomery’s performance was the best by a Connecticut reserve since she scored 33 against Minnesota on Aug. 3, 2010.

Charles finished with 18 points and eight boards against the Silver Stars to stay among the league leaders with 20.7 points and 10.7 rebounds per game. Montgomery is averaging 16.3 points and Jones is chipping in 16.0 while helping the Sun equal their 3-0 start from 2008.

“I love how we’ve started out the season,” Montgomery said. “It’s going to be tight at the end (of the regular season), so the more (wins) you get in the beginning, it’s great.”

Montgomery made the league’s all-rookie team in 2009 for Minnesota but was traded to Connecticut before the next season for Whalen. The Sun also got a No. 1 overall draft pick out of that deal and used it to select Charles.

The All-Star center had 16 points and 18 rebounds Aug. 16 to help the Sun hand the Lynx their most lopsided defeat of 2011, 108-79 at Mohegan Sun Arena. Montgomery’s 17 points paced five players in double figures as Connecticut set a franchise scoring record for a non-overtime game and spoiled Maya Moore’s return to the state where she was a collegiate star.

Moore had 26 points and Seimone Augustus scored 20 during a 90-67 rout of Connecticut at home July 9. Charles was limited to six points on 3-of-13 shooting.

Moore, Augustus and Whalen will join Charles and Jones on the Olympic team in London.

Updated Thursday, May 31, 2012

Team Comparison

Team Record Standings Road/Home vs. Conf. Streak L10
Minnesota 27-7 1st West Road 11-6 17-5 Lost 1 7-3
Connecticut 25-9 1st East Home 12-5 18-4 Won 3 7-3

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