In 10 years as a franchise, the Lynx have never played a worse 10 minutes of basketball. Never.
In the first quarter Saturday, the Lynx had six turnovers, scored six points and made only one of 15 shots.
With WNBA Commissioner Donna Orender in attendance, the Lynx closed a 15-point deficit to two but fell short in a 72-65 loss to the Houston Comets in front of 5,865 at Target Center. The Lynx's fifth loss in a row gave the Comets their first road victory.
Rookie Candice Wiggins almost singlehandedly pulled the Lynx (6-6) back into contention. Wiggins finished with 24 points -- 13 on free throws--leading the team for the fourth time this season. Seimone Augustus scored 12, as the Lynx shot a season-low 27.5 percent in falling to .500 for the first time this season.
Wiggins' success is even more impressive given that her WNBA experience is only 11 games deep. The starters for Houston (4-8) have an average of nearly nine years in the league.
The caliber of play hasn't been the biggest surprise to Wiggins, however. Her hardest adjustment to the WNBA: the losing. In four years at Stanford, she lost consecutive games only twice.
"We had a back-to-back loss at Stanford and it was like the end of the universe," Wiggins said, when asked about losing twice in the past 48 hours.
After the sour first quarter, the Lynx hit a different superlative in the second, tying a season high with 23 points. The Lynx cut the deficit to 34-32 at the start of the third quarter and then missed five of their next six shots. Illustrative of the fourth quarter was a Wiggins steal that ended with a missed layup.
"You keep hoping," Lynx coach Don Zierden said. "I don't think we stopped working. I think they were digging down as deep as they could, but they didn't have that extra gear."
Having suffered a stress fracture in her left patella, Lindsey Harding returned to the lineup Friday at Detroit and, against the Comets, played in her first game at Target Center since July 8, 2007. She shot 0-for-7 but said she's feeling all right, besides the fatigue Zierden cited everyone was enduring.
"Speed, quickness, I feel fine," Harding said. "I'm just trying to get that timing back."
Zierden said the Lynx's two home games this week will be pivotal in reviving the team.
"I told the players a few days ago, we're a roll-up-our-sleeves kind of group," Zierden said. "It's never as good as it seems, it's never as bad as it seems. We're still hanging in there."
• The Lynx later announced the trade of Eshaya Murphy to Detroit for sixth-year forward LaToya Thomas. Murphy has played in only two games this season. Thomas has averaged 1.1 points in less than seven minutes this season. She will be practice with the Lynx on Monday.