ADVERTISEMENT

The Lynx's Monica Wright dribbled past Seattle's Victoria Dunlap during Minnesota's 79-55 rout of the Storm at Target Center on Wednesday night..

Stacy Bengs, Associated Press

LYNX 79, SEATTLE 55Up next: 7 p.m. Saturday at Tulsa • No TV (106.1-FM)

Lynx display depth, go to 8-0

  • Article by: ROMAN AUGUSTOVIZ
  • Star Tribune
  • June 7, 2012 - 5:37 AM

Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve enjoys joking around at times. During Wednesday night's game at Target Center, she needled Seimone Augustus.

"It must feel good that we really don't need you," Reeve said she told Augustus. Her leading scorer sat on the bench throughout the Lynx's latest victory because of a strained right quadriceps.

Actually, Reeve's comment had an element of truth to it.

Even without Augustus and her 18 points per game, the Lynx coasted to a 79-55 rout over Seattle before an announced crowd of 8,263.

The Lynx now are 8-0, which is the third best start in the 16-year history of the WNBA. The Los Angeles Sparks were 9-0 twice, in 2001 and 2003. The Lynx can tie that record at winless Tulsa on Saturday.

"We each did something to pick each other up," Reeve said, "and were able to beat a solid Seattle team."

Five Lynx scored in double figures, paced by their 6-2 centers on opposite ends of their careers. Taj McWilliams-Franklin is in her 14th season in the league, Devereaux Peters in her first.

No. 8 McWilliams-Franklin was 8-for-8 from the field and had a game-high 17 points. She was unhappy with her five turnovers, though.

Peters, her backup, made five of seven shots for a season-high 14 points. She also had four assists.

As a team, the Lynx shot 66.7 percent in the first half and finished above 50 percent (54.7) for the seventh time. The rest of the league has accomplished that feat four times, total.

"When we share the ball we can be really, really efficient," Reeve said.

Against Seattle, the Lynx had 19 assists on 29 baskets. Point guard Lindsay Whalen had five assists and one point -- the Lynx didn't need her scoring either.

The Storm (1-5) got as close as seven points twice in the third quarter, the last time at 45-38. But a Peters layup started a 13-0 run.

"It went from seven points to 13 to 18 to 22," Storm coach Brian Agler said. "Turnovers, missed shots, defensive breakdowns -- a combination of things."

Storm point guard Sue Bird said Augustus' absence may have helped the Lynx in a way. "Sometimes when you are missing a player, such as Seimone, people tend to step up," Bird said. "They had a lot of players do that."

The three other Lynx in double figures were starting forwards Maya Moore and Rebekkah Brunson with 12 and 10 points, respectively, and reserve guard Candice Wiggins who made four three-pointers for her 12 points.

Augustus, of course, appreciated the play of her teammates in the Lynx's 14th consecutive victory, going back to the 2011 playoffs.

"I told [Reeve] I had a great time sitting courtside," Augustus said. "It's my first courtside WNBA game.

"It'd hard to sit there, but at the same time, I had a lot of fun tonight just to see them play well together and have fun out there."

Augustus had been feeling discomfort in her right leg for a week. And even after two days off, she was having trouble cutting before the game.

"We said, 'Hey, it's a long season,' " Reeve said. "We felt we wanted to try to get through [this game] without her."

The Lynx did that rather easily, by 24 points, and they have a shot at making league history next.

© 2014 Star Tribune