WASHINGTON – The Lynx have matched their WNBA record for consecutive victories to start a season, and judging by how they played shorthanded in their past two victories, they don't appear ready for that first loss any time soon.
Seimone Augustus returned from a one-game absence to score 21 points, Sylvia Fowles added 18 points and seven rebounds and the Lynx beat Washington 83-76 on Saturday night, matching the 2012 Lynx with a 10-0 record.
"All I think about next is Tuesday," coach Cheryl Reeve said. "I know we play Indiana next. I told these guys that handling a road back-to-back, these guys had a little bit of time to get ready for us, [the Mystics] haven't won at home so they're hungry. We just like to handle challenges as they come.
"I just told them how proud I was. We don't make excuses. Nobody puts an asterisk next to a 'W' or an 'L' saying, 'Yeah, but …' Nobody cares about that. In the end, it's just the total. We take great pride and just take it one game at a time."
The Lynx play Indiana on Tuesday at Target Center for the chance to go 11-0. They then play at Seattle on June 19 before visiting Los Angeles on June 21. The Sparks are also undefeated, 9-0, after winning at Dallas 97-73 Saturday.
The Lynx played on back-to-back nights for the first time this season, and both games were similar: Down one starter, the Lynx played a close first half before establishing control with a dominant third quarter. Friday at Atlanta, they outscored the Dream 32-18 in the third quarter on their way to a 110-78 victory. Saturday, the Lynx trailed the Mystics 47-45 at halftime but took control by outscoring Washington 23-8 in the third quarter.
They did so without point guard Lindsay Whalen, who skipped the game so that she could attend her brother Casey's wedding. In her place, Renee Montgomery had 13 points on 5-for-7 shooting, including 3-for-4 from three-point range, before fouling out.
"We had to pick up the slack of having one of our captains, one of our leaders on the team out," said Augustus, who sat out Friday after suffering a bruise to the head Tuesday against Phoenix.
Augustus scored 17 points in the first half Saturday, when Maya Moore was held to two points. Playing on her 27th birthday, Moore got going after halftime and finished with 15 points. She also had seven rebounds and five assists.
"Having to adjust to that in the first half and focus on moving the ball and being a facilitator, it really helped our overall flow in the second half, getting a lot of people involved," Moore said. "That's just the kind of team we are when we're at our best: a lot of people getting involved on the offensive end."
Emma Meesseman had 19 points and seven rebounds for Washington, which fell to 0-5 at home. Minneapolis South product Tayler Hill had 12 points and six assists.
"You can't focus on just one player like Maya Moore when you play a championship team like Minnesota," Hill said. "They have so many good players, all around, 1 through 5, they are so good. Then you have players coming off the bench that play their roles well."
And as a result, the Lynx are 10-0 for the second time in franchise history.