There was no postgame dancing at midcourt on Friday night by Lynx players.
It's a tradition at home only after victories, and the Lynx had lost for the first time in the past 10 games at Target Center.
The New York Liberty, sinking one three-pointer after another, embarrassed the Lynx 78-62 before an announced crowd of 8,929. The loss ended the Lynx's six-game winning streak.
Even so, the Lynx (24-7) reached another of their season-long goals: Finishing with the best WNBA record. Thanks to Connecticut's rout of Indiana, the Lynx, as the top seed, will have the home-court advantage throughout the playoffs.
"We are excited about that," Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve said. "It is tempered a little bit with our performance tonight."
The Lynx shot only 33.8 percent, and three of their best players struggled. Rebekkah Brunson, who signed a three-year contract extension this week, was held scoreless. Lindsay Whalen was 1-for-8 shooting, and Seimone Augustus scored a team-high 17 points but needed 17 shots.
"It is a dejected locker room, kind of weird," Reeve said. "You clinch the best overall record and you are No. 1 and [players] have towels over their heads.
"They have a great deal of pride. It was hard to tell them the game did not matter. It mattered a lot to them."
The Liberty (18-13) was more desperate, though. It needed a win to secure a playoff spot in the tightly bunched Eastern Conference.
Leilani Mitchell, a 5-5 guard averaging 4.9 points, was New York's unlikely heroine. She made nine of 12 shots, including six of eight three-pointers, for 24 points. Her previous season high was 18 points.
"We knew [Mitchell] was a player that we didn't want to wake up," Reeve said. "In the first half, we weren't close enough to her. She got rolling once she made her first couple [shots]. And she had that mojo the rest of the game."
Her teammates also excelled from behind the arc. Nicole Powell and Cappie Pondexter both made three three-pointers and as a team the Liberty was 13-for-26 -- an easy-to-figure 50 percent efficiency.
Powell, Pondexter and Plenette Pierson finished with 13 points apiece.
"Minnesota is polishing their stuff up for the playoffs," New York coach John Whisenant said before the tipoff. "We are still trying to get in. And if we do, it's going to be a dogfight" in the East.
In the first 14 years of the playoffs, the team with the best regular-season record has advanced to the WNBA finals 11 times and won the championship eight times. But there was a five-year stretch from 2004 to '08 when the top seed lost in the playoffs every year.
"We've got to be better, we've got to be tougher," said Reeve, whose team has three regular-season games left."
Pass the polish.