With a difficult stretch of games coming up, the Minnesota Lynx are focused on improving on their already superb performances. They would probably love to have a better game against the San Antonio Silver Stars than they did earlier this season.
Minnesota will try to add to one of the best starts in league history Sunday while erasing the memory of a nearly disastrous finish against San Antonio, which will seek its longest home win streak in four years.
The Lynx became the second team in WNBA history to start 13-1 or better Wednesday with a 96-80 win over Phoenix. The Houston Comets won 20 of their first 21 games in 1998.
As usual, the league's top scoring team (85.5 points per game) had a number of contributors as Seimone Augustus and Rebekkah Brunson each scored 16 points to pace six players in double figures.
Minnesota, though, isn't content with its accomplishments or its current string of three consecutive double-digit victories. With two road games and a visit from Eastern Conference-leading Connecticut on the slate for this week, the Lynx want to tighten up their defense.
"We haven't been playing defensively the way we know we can," Augustus told the team's website. "We kind of feel like we've got a few little kinks here and there that we can fix, but for the most part, I think we've done pretty well."
Minnesota performed well enough to build a 26-point lead in the third quarter against the visiting Silver Stars (6-5) on June 3. The Lynx, though, nearly blew that considerable advantage before hanging on for an 83-79 victory.
"Since that game, I think (San Antonio has) been playing extremely, extremely well," Minnesota coach Cheryl Reeve said.
The Silver Stars have won four of five, and they topped 90 points in both ends of a home-and-home sweep over Los Angeles.
Sophia Young led the way with 23 points during a 94-80 victory at the AT&T Center on Thursday and has averaged 20.8 over the last four games. The Silver Stars' bench also outscored the Sparks' 33-17 while putting their club on the verge of matching a five-game home win streak last accomplished June 28-July 11, 2008.
"I think our bench is fantastic," Young said. "Jia Perkins, especially. She definitely gives us a spark, she's energetic and a great teammate. She definitely brings a lot of offense, and Danielle Adams can shoot the 3 so it spreads us out a little bit."
Minnesota is making its first trip to San Antonio since an 84-75 loss in Game 2 of the Western Conference semifinals. The Lynx prevailed by 18 points in the deciding third game of that series, the start of a six-game win streak en route to their first WNBA title.
Minnesota has won seven in a row over the Silver Stars during the regular season.