WNBA, Friday June 15, 2012 capsules: Minnesota improves to 10-0, setting a new WNBA record for most consecutive wins to begin a season

Minnesota 78, Phoenix 60

With fives games on the slate Friday night, Minnesota (10-0) ended the evening beating the Phoenix Mercury 78-60 and improved to 10-0, setting a new WNBA record for most consecutive wins to begin a season.

“We’re excited about that,” said coach Cheryl Reeve of the Lynx record, “We’re not a team that talks about records, but when it got to be nine we thought, ‘What the hell. Let’s embrace this thing and take our place in history.’ We’re happy to be the only team to start off 10-0.”

Lindsay Whalen led the Lynx with a season-high 29 points, 11-of-14 from the floor and 6-of-7 at the free-throw line. Seimone Augustus added 14 points and Monica Wright scored 11 for Minnesota.

For the Mercury (2-6), DeWanna Bonner scored a team-high 18 points, including 8-of-10 from the free throw line. She has scored at least 17 points in five straight games, extending the longest streak of her career.

Connecticut 97, New York 55

To start off the night, the Connecticut Sun (7-2) routed the New York Liberty, 97-55. At halftime, the Sun had a 61-27 lead, setting a franchise record for first half points and breaking their previous record of 57. The Phoenix Mercury holds the league record for first half points at 69 set in a game vs. Minnesota on July, 29, 2010.

Tina Charles led the Sun with 20 points and eight rebounds. Renee Montgomery had 14 points. Mistie Mims scored 13 and pulled down 4 rebounds, Allison Hightower finished with 12 points. Asjha Jones and Kara Lawson had 10 points each. Jones also tallied eight rebounds.

For New York (3-7), Essence Carson led with 14 points. Cappie Pondexter was held to just six points down from her season average of 18.7 points per game.

Washington 67, Indiana 66

The Washington Mystics (2-6) overcame their woes in closing out tight games with a home victory over the visiting Indiana Fever, 67-66. With some energy at the point guard position fueled by new acquisition Shannon Bobbitt, the Mystics held on to a lead gained in the second quarter, only the second lead change in the entire game.

Crystal Langhorne led her team with 22 points and 13 rebounds. Matee Ajavon had 15 points, Michelle Snow only scored six but she pulled down 12 rebounds.

It was the third straight loss for the Fever (4-3). Tamika Catchings led Indiana with 15 points while Tammy Sutton-Brown finished with 13.

Atlanta 92, Los Angeles 59

The Atlanta Dream (4-5) halted the win streak of the Los Angeles Sparks (7-2), giving Carol Ross a loss on her return to Philips Arena. Ross, the head coach of the Sparks, had her team on a five-game run of wins before their game in Atlanta.

For Atlanta, Angel McCoughtry had 31 points, four rebounds and four steals. Lindsey Harding added 18, plus five rebounds and six assists. Sancho Lyttle contributed 13 points, seven rebounds and six assists.

Rookie Nneka Ogwumike led the Sparks with 13 points and 10 rebounds. Atlanta held Candace Parker to just nine points.

Seattle 86, Tulsa 73

Without center Chante Black who will miss one week with a jaw injury that she suffered in practice on Wednesday, the Tulsa Shock (0-9) floundered at home against the Seattle Storm (2-7).

The Shock have yet to win a game this season and Seattle broke a four-game losing streak. Seattle coach Brian Agler had hope for Tulsa.

“I think Tulsa is going to be a team like us, it’s just going to keep getting better and better,” said Agler. “I know they might be a bit disappointed. They had a week of practicing getting prepared for this game and wanted a better showing, but they got a young team and they play with a lot of energy, they compete hard. Coach Kloppenburg has done a great job with them. I think they shot the ball well in the first three quarters. They are going to get some wins this year.”

The Storm’s only two wins are against Tulsa.

“We came in here needing a win,” said Storm point guard Sue Bird, “I know Tulsa needs wins also, but we are a team that’s been on the road and haven’t had any success so tonight we were focused. For us it always starts with defense, getting out in transition that is always going to be a good thing for us. Tonight our team played very well together offensively. “

Bird led the Storm with 21 points, seven rebounds and four assists. Katie Smith had 17 points and four rebounds. Tina Thompson scored 16 points and Shekinna Stricklen had 12.

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