Mystics-Lynx Preview


The struggling Washington Mystics are one of two teams to beat the league-best Minnesota Lynx, but now have the daunting challenge of visiting the Target Center.

The Lynx have a chance to tie the WNBA's second-longest home win streak and their longest overall streak in one season in Thursday night's rematch with the Mystics.

Washington fended off Minnesota 85-80 at home June 8, and the Lynx (17-3) have lost only two games in Los Angeles since then. Their current 10-game win streak is one shy of matching an 11-game run from July 10-Sept. 9, 2012.

Minnesota won a franchise-record 13 straight Sept. 4, 2011-June 15, 2012.

The Lynx are also one victory away from matching Los Angeles' 19-game home win streak, which ended July 18. The Sparks won a league-record 28 consecutive home games from 2000-02.

Minnesota would appear poised to accomplish that feat as it's won its past four games by an average of 15.3 points. With a season high-tying 26 points, Maya Moore was one of three Minnesota players with 20 or more in Tuesday's 93-80 victory at San Antonio. The Lynx shot a season-best 57.4 percent and outscored the Silver Stars 40-26 in the paint.

"I just thought it was a really great game," coach Cheryl Reeve said. "We had some really great offensive performances. I think our defense was pretty solid. ... I just think it was really fun to watch. There was just some great individual play."

The Lynx also had three players score more than 20 against the Mystics in June, led by Moore's 22, but they were also outshot 49.2 to 38.5 percent. Ivory Latta scored 17 of her 24 points in the second half and Monique Currie contributed a season-high 23 for Washington.

The Mystics (9-13) enter having lost four straight - one shy of matching their season-high skid June 18-28 - and blew a 14-point lead in the fourth quarter of a 93-88 defeat at New York on Tuesday. Crystal Langhorne had a game-high 24 points but no other teammate scored more than 13.

"I've been coaching for 40-something years and I never saw that many bad plays in a short period of time," coach Mike Thibault said. "I'm at my limit right now. We went a whole year last year in Connecticut without losing two in a row. I'm not used to this. It's all mind boggling to me."

Minnesota will seek a third consecutive home win over Washington. The Lynx's 98-69 victory in the most recent matchup at the Target Center on Aug. 17 was the most lopsided in the series.

The status of Minnesota's starting center Janel McCarville is questionable due to a head injury.