Seimone Augustus lay on the court under the Minnesota basket in pain after suffering a left hip injury with one minute remaining Friday night. Any chance the Lynx had of ending their seven-game losing streak also came crumbling down at that time.
Washington overcame a 17-point fourth-quarter deficit to beat the Lynx 91-87 in overtime at Target Center. The loss was the eighth consecutive for Minnesota (5-18), all coming in the month of July.
Augustus scored a career-high 33 points and dished out six assists before leaving before the start of overtime. She will be reevaluated this morning before the team leaves on its road trip to Phoenix.
"It must have been bad, because she didn't come back," Lynx coach Don Zierden said.
The Mystics (9-12) benefited from a huge discrepancy at the free-throw line and costly Lynx mistakes -- 32 turnovers in the game -- down the stretch to force overtime. Washington outscored the Lynx 42-12 on free throws.
"I've been an assistant coach with the Minnesota Timberwolves, an assistant coach with the Detroit Pistons, a head coach in the CBA and now I'm a head coach in the WNBA and in all of that time I have never seen a free-throw discrepancy of 55-15 [attempts]," Zierden said.
Tamara James tied the score at 78-all for the Mystics with 2.4 seconds remaining in regulation, making three free throws. She was fouled by Kristen Mann while shooting a three-pointer.
"They're the professional referees. They get paid for what they do," Zierden said. "My player said she did not touch her."
Nikki Blue's 19-foot jump shot with just over a minute remaining in overtime gave the Mystics the lead for good, 88-87. She made a three-pointer early in overtime as the shot clock expired.
"The game ball tonight goes to Nikki Blue," Mystics coach Tree Rollins said. "She really grew up as a WNBA player tonight."
Svetlana Abrosimova's layup with 8:28 left in the fourth quarter gave the Lynx a 66-49 lead. Abrosimova finished with 20 points on 8-for-11 shooting, including four three-pointers.
"Everything was working," Abrosimova said. "We got too confident. That's always dangerous, and that's what cost us the game."
Lynx rookie point guard Lindsey Harding underwent reconstructive knee surgery Friday to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament in her left knee. She will miss the remainder of the season but is expected to be ready for training camp in 2008.
Ron Haggstrom email@example.com