WNBA

Silver Stars-Lynx Preview

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Having already produced the best start in franchise history, the Minnesota Lynx are now working toward matching the WNBA's best.

The defending league champions can improve to 7-0 on Sunday night when they face the team that last beat them, the San Antonio Silver Stars.

Minnesota had never won six in a row to open a season until an 85-72 victory at Connecticut on Friday. Seimone Augustus had a team-best 23 points and Rebekkah Brunson added 14 with 13 rebounds.

Brunson feels her team could reach an even higher level of competitiveness. Minnesota (6-0) is playing its first seven games over 15 days and has made three road trips.

"I don't think we're playing our best," the veteran forward said. "I still think we have a lot of things to work on.

"We haven't had a lot of practice time, which is difficult when you have a schedule like this. You have to try to fine-tune things during games and figure them out on the fly, but we're continuing to get better, and luckily we've been able to escape some of these games."

The Lynx are one of seven WNBA teams to start 6-0 or better. Los Angeles opened 9-0 in 2001 and 2003, and three other clubs began 7-0 with the Detroit Shock the most recent of those in 2007.

Minnesota will try to join that group when it faces San Antonio for the first time since the opening round of the playoffs. The Lynx prevailed 2-1 in that series and swept their next two opponents to win their first league title.

Minnesota suffered that lone playoff defeat Sept. 18 in San Antonio before winning 85-67 in the deciding game two days later at the Target Center. That victory is part of the Lynx's nine-game home win streak which includes the postseason.

San Antonio (2-2) has lost five straight in Minnesota and six in a row overall in this series.

The Silver Stars, though, were looking forward to this matchup after an 85-66 victory over Phoenix on Friday.

"We have a big challenge ahead of us with Minnesota next. I think we're all excited for it," center Jayne Appel said.

Becky Hammon was 7 of 9 from 3-point range Friday while scoring a season-high 30 points and helping her team avoid a third straight loss. Sophia Young contributed 16 points and 10 rebounds, and Appel grabbed 11 boards during her first start of the season.

The Silver Stars will likely need more help from Appel with Tangela Smith out indefinitely due to knee surgery. Acquired from Indiana in the offseason, Smith was expected to give a boost to the team's frontcourt but played a combined 10 minutes over two games.



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