Several Lynx streaks ended Sunday, most notably their WNBA record of 10 consecutive victories to start the season.
Also ended, after the Lynx's 65-62 loss at Seattle, were two franchise record-breaking streaks. One was most consecutive regular-season victories (13), the other for most road victories in a row (nine).
But Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve is optimistic that the one streak still intact could grow. The Lynx have won 11 consecutive home games (counting playoffs), with New York coming to Target Center on Thursday, followed by Chicago on Saturday and Phoenix on Wednesday. The Lynx are 5-0 at home this season and 24-3 going back to the start of the 2011 season. The Liberty was the last visiting team to win at Target Center last Sept. 2.
Reeve said Sunday's first loss initially stung.
"The losses hurt so bad because we are all very, very competitive," Reeve said.
Perspective soon soothed the ache.
"Sometimes a loss can actually focus [players] on what we are saying," Reeve said.
"[The loss] was a much needed bump in the road for us," Lynx center Taj McWilliams-Franklin said, "to assess some things, to speak about some deficiencies we have that have been glaring for 10 games that most people don't talk about when you win."
One emphasis this week in practices has been stopping opponents' drives to the basket. Seattle exploited that weakness. The Lynx are near the top of the WNBA in most statistical categories. An exception is defensive rebounding. They rank seventh in efficiency, while opponents average 10.4 offensive rebounds per game.
Seattle lost the battle of the boards 34-27 with the Lynx and had only five offensive rebounds, but Reeve knew KeyArena would be a tough place to win.
"[Their] fans are right on top of you the way their seats are situated," Reeve said. "Their fans were behind them from the intros. They were geeked up -- you have an undefeated team coming into your house."
The Lynx, who trailed Seattle by as many as 17 points, got within one point, but guard Seimone Augustus missed an open baseline jumper with five seconds.
"They're going to win a lot of games this year," Storm coach Brian Agler said after his team's upset. "They're the best team in the league."
And the Lynx have almost as big a home-court edge as Seattle, Reeve said, even though Target Center is a more spacious arena.
"Our fans are just as loud, just as rambunctious and just as into the game," she said. "Our players would tell you that there are certain moments in a game that [the crowd] helps you get through and gives you that extra bounce in your step."
The Lynx, who won at New York in the second game of this season, are averaging 8,914 fans per game.
"We match up well [with the Liberty] and we know how to attack their defense," Reeve said.