The Minnesota Lynx won all six games against the Seattle Storm last season, including two in the playoffs en route to their second WNBA title in three years.
They haven’t figured out how to beat the Storm so far this year but will face them for the first time at home, where they’ve won 10 straight matchups, Sunday night while trying to avoid a sweep in back-to-back matchups.
Minnesota had started this season 7-0 and won seven in a row over Seattle – including the postseason – before a 65-62 defeat June 6.
Camille Little sent the Lynx (11-5) to another loss with a career night Friday. She scored 31 points on 11-of-15 shooting and had 13 in the fourth quarter to help the Storm pull away.
"We had a nice defensive stand there towards the end of the fourth quarter, but we have to do that consistently and stop their runs," Minnesota forward Maya Moore said. "That’s one of the big differences between our successful times and our tougher times – to be able to stop the bleeding and bounce back a little bit quicker than we have been in some of our losses."
The loss snapped a two-game win streak for Minnesota and dropped the club a half-game behind Western Conference-leading Phoenix. The Mercury play at Tulsa on Sunday afternoon.
The Lynx have won 10 straight home games over Seattle – including the playoffs – since a 73-71 loss on July 17, 2010. Minnesota is 5-1 at the Target Center this year and plays seven of its next nine there while the Storm are 3-8 on the road.
Seattle (7-10) has topped 80 points in each of its two wins in the past week, but is averaging 69.5 on the road and had its lowest output of the season in a 65-57 defeat at Los Angeles on Tuesday.
"We’re going there now. Expect them to be angry. Expect them to come out hard. We beat them twice now, so this one will be hard. We have to go in with the right mindset," guard Noelle Quinn told the Storm’s official website.
Moore, scoring a league-best 23.3 points, has scored at least 20 points in five consecutive games while shooting 59.3 percent (51 of 86). She had 20 points on 8-of-13 shooting and 10 rebounds Friday.
Seimone Augustus was held to a season-low five points on 2-of-10 shooting in that game after averaging 18.1 points and shooting 54.1 percent in her first 14 games. She had 12 points on 5-of-12 shooting in the June 6 defeat.