7:00 PM ET, May 30, 2012
The defending champion Minnesota Lynx have picked up right where they left off last season.Unfortunately for the turnover-plagued Washington Mystics, they have done the same.Minnesota can match the best start in franchise history as it visits the Mystics on Wednesday night.If their early season efforts are any indication, the Lynx look could be in for another special year. Averaging a league-high 90.3 points, Minnesota has outscored opponents by 15.3 per contest in winning its first four games.The only time the Lynx, who entered the league in 1999, went deeper into a season without a loss was a 5-0 start in 2008.Dating to 2011, Minnesota has won 10 straight and 20 of 22 -- including last year's championship run."Ending the season the way we did was definitely a great feeling, but I don't know if we're necessarily looking back at last season," said Maya Moore, last season's rookie of the year. "We're looking at it as momentum, but we're not looking at it as we don't have to work hard anymore. I mean, it's a new year. We're trying to start new runs. We're trying to do some new things with the same group. So, one step closer."Minnesota continued its prowess Sunday with an 84-71 victory over Seattle. Moore scored a game-high 19 points for the Lynx, who took a 17-9 lead into the second quarter and never looked back."This game was important because it was our next one," said Seimone Augustus, averaging a team-high 19.0 points. "The game we play against the Mystics is going to be important because it's the game we're facing the next game. It's just about mental focus and I think we're all coming together well now."Minnesota had its way with Washington (1-1) last season, taking the two matchups by an average of 18.0 points.The Mystics, who lost 13 of their final 14 games in 2011, averaged 16.9 turnovers last year -- third-worst in the league. Their sloppy play seems to have carried over into 2012.After committing 23 turnovers in a 69-57 loss to Chicago on May 19, Washington managed to overcome a whopping 32 on Saturday to beat Tulsa 64-61."Obviously (I am) happy we were able to execute down the stretch and pull out the win," coach Trudi Lacey said. "However I was not pleased with the types of turnovers and the number of turnovers we committed. Very simply, we have to make better decisions with the basketball."Guard Matee Ajavon, who sat out the season opener due to a sore knee, had a game-high 19 points and four steals off the bench Saturday. Center Crystal Langhorne added 14 points and 10 rebounds.Ajavon's 14.7 points per game last season ranked second on the team to Langhorne's mark of 18.2."It was very nice to have Matee back," Lacey said. "She provides us with a lot of energy. She is tough and that's what I've asked them to be."Washington hasn't posted back-to-back victories since winning its final six games in 2010.