You'd think with all the games (279 and counting), all the minutes (somewhere north of 8,300) and shots (3,721) Kayla McBride has amassed as a WNBA player, something like this would have happened before.

It had not.

"No," McBride said after Lynx practice Monday. "Not to this extent.

"I was 0-for-13. I don't know if that's ever happened to me in my career. Thirteen in a row? It can get in your head.''

McBride, an 11th-year shooting guard, has emerged as one of the team's best perimeter defenders. But at her core, she is and always has been a scorer.

So when she hit the worst slump of her career? Frankly, it took a punch to the nose to get her out of it, but more on that in a minute.

For the record, it was a bit more difficult than 0-for-13. McBride missed her final two shots of the Lynx game at Atlanta last week. Then she went 0-for-7 in a home victory over Los Angeles on Thursday. On Saturday against league-leading Las Vegas, McBride missed her first six shots, including four from three-point range.

With each miss, more pressure. "I know my teammates need me to make shots," she said. "You put that pressure on yourself. You want to succeed. You're super competitive. I hold myself to a high standard. Our offense is different when I'm making shots, and I know that."

But, after a few misses early, McBride admitted that she started turning down shots in Saturday's game.

To her credit, McBride's defense didn't falter. In the victory over Los Angeles, she was very strong, with her defection late in the game helping force a victory-saving shot clock violation by the Sparks. On Saturday, McBride had three steals.

But McBride is a scorer. That's what she does. And she wasn't scoring.

"There is a part of you that wants to keep shooting," said Katie Smith, Lynx associate head coach and one of the WNBA's best scorers during her playing days. "But there is a moment where you're like, 'All right, I'm not going to take this one. But that's not the thing to do. You should take the shots that are yours. KMac has to keep the confidence. She's going to get good looks. We're going to keep running plays for her. She just has to work through it."

She has been. McBride looked at cutups of every three-point shot she took — made and missed — over several games to see if she could spot a difference. Was she leaning to one side or another? Was her release different?

But for all that, all the extra shots she took after practices, it might have been an errant hit to her face that realigned her shot. It happened in the third quarter of Saturday's game, when Aces guard Jackie Young was called for a technical foul for catching McBride squarely on the nose.

McBride got up and hit the free throw. Then, in the fourth quarter, she hit three of five shots — including three of four three-pointers — and scored nine points. The Lynx were on the wrong end of a one-sided loss. But McBride felt she had finally seen a few shots go, and that was big.

"It was like I told my brother, I got it knocked out of me," McBride said of her slump.

Early in the fourth quarter, McBride came off a pick, took a pass from Diamond Miller and hit a 25-footer.

"It was like all that weight, it dropped off," McBride said. "That's all you need as a shooter. That's the name of the game."

Moments later, she hit a 27-footer. Less than a minute later, another 25-footer. McBride had found her range while avoiding going without a field goal in consecutive games, something that has never happened.

Now the key is keeping it going. Wednesday's game against Washington at Target Center is her team's second consecutive game — and the second of six in a row — against opponents ahead of the Lynx in the WNBA standings. Minnesota enters the game having won just once all season against such teams. Having McBride back in rhythm could help change that.

"We have [Napheesa Collier], and Diamond is finding ways to be productive," Smith said. "But we need that other guard to space the floor."