SAN ANTONIO - The Lynx's seven-game winning streak against San Antonio is over.
Now the Lynx need to start another one Tuesday at home or their marvelous season will be over, too.
Facing elimination, the Silver Stars summoned up enough stored aggression to beat the Lynx 84-75 on Sunday at AT&T Center. The result, before an announced crowd of 7,023, tied the best-of-three Western Conference semifinal series at 1-1.
The Lynx, who had the WNBA's best regular-season record, won the first game of the series 66-65 on Friday at Target Center with a key defensive play at the end.
In Sunday's rematch, San Antonio's big three -- forwards Jia Perkins (24 points) and Sophia Young (23) and point guard Becky Hammon (18) -- combined for 65 points.
"They all picked their spots to help us," Silver Stars coach Dan Hughes said. "Jia was awfully good initially. Becky kind of picked it up at that point. And Sophia Young in the second half -- that was vintage Sophia."
Perkins had eight points in the first quarter, Hammon 10 in the second and Young 17 in the third and fourth.
The Lynx fell behind 7-2 in the opening quarter, never led, and trailed by as many as 16 points in the second half.
Coach Cheryl Reeve said the Lynx usually made one pass and stood around, playing one-on-one basketball.
"We average 18 assists per game," Reeve said. "At home we had 11 [Friday] and today we had 14, but only because we had a few at the end."
"[We] weren't in a rhythm pretty much the whole game, and it showed," said Lynx forward Maya Moore. "Any time we were unsure of what we were doing next, most of the time it ended up in a turnover."
The Lynx committed 17 turnovers -- four more than their average -- leading to 21 points for San Antonio. The Lynx scored only six points off the Silver Stars' nine turnovers, four below their norm.
The decisive quarter was the third -- usually the Lynx's best quarter. The Silver Stars outscored the visitors 24-13 to take a 64-50 lead.
Augustus, who led the Lynx with 24 points, said her team waited until the fourth quarter to play well. "Why it took so long, I have no idea," she said. "We didn't have that sense of urgency that San Antonio had."
Five consecutive wins against the Silver Stars this season, all since July 31, might offer a partial explanation.
In the fourth quarter, the Lynx outscored the Silver Stars 25-20 and, after holding a one-rebound edge the first 30 minutes, outrebounded San Antonio by a 17-3 margin. The Lynx's Rebekkah Brunson finished with 16 rebounds.
Statistics sometimes lie, as in this case. Eight of the Lynx's 17 rebounds in the final quarter were on the offensive boards, and the Lynx were unproductive throughout this game on second chances.
"We had 21 [offensive] boards and converted on just three," Reeve said. "And two of [the baskets] are by our backup point guard, Alexis Hornbuckle. It's painful.
"[We] got those possessions, but this is unacceptable for us ... not being able to convert. That's what players get paid to do."
If the WNBA coach of the year sounds upset, she was.
"Clearly it's a situation where Game 3 at home for us doesn't guarantee anything," Reeve said. "San Antonio succeeded in putting the pressure back on us."
In 14 seasons, only one team with the best record has lost an opening series. Eleven have reached the WNBA finals and eight won league titles.
This is only the Lynx's third playoff appearance, and they have never won a series.
"We fought all season to have the home-court advantage," Reeve said. "You win your home games and you're WNBA champions."
The Lynx are 11-1 in their past 12 games at Target Center, 15-3 overall this season.
"We're looking at this loss," Augustus said, "and we've actually got some hope because we are going home. [We can] end this thing the right way."