for this game

Montgomery leads Lynx past Sun

Aug 8, 2009 - 3:16 AM MINNEAPOLIS(AP) -- Renee Montgomery scored a career-high 24 points, Nicky Anosike had 19 points and 12 rebounds, and the Minnesota Lynx beat the Connecticut Sun 95-88 on Friday night to end a three-game losing streak.

Charde Houston had 16 points and 10 rebounds, and Candice Wiggins scored 12 points for the Lynx (11-10), coming off a five-day break.

"We needed a break to regroup," coach Jen Gillom said. "I thought we had four good practices this week and I knew it would carry over into this game. The girls were very enthusiastic in practice. If we can contain this type of energy, wow, the sky's the limit."

Last year, Minnesota also was 10-10 at the 20-game mark, but went 6-8 the rest of the way to miss the playoffs for the fourth consecutive season. The Lynx are third in the Western Conference, a game behind Seattle, and 1 1/2 games ahead of San Antonio, which plays in Minnesota on Sunday.

"What you saw tonight is what you can expect from us the rest of the year," Houston said.

That would be diving for loose balls, pressure defense and aggressiveness on the glass. Minnesota held a 45-27 rebounding edge.

"I think that's the biggest thing," said Sun forward Asjha Jones. "I think we played pretty well offensively."

Sandrine Gruda led Connecticut with 21 points. Jones had 16 points, and Anete Jekabsone-Zogota and former University of Minnesota standout Lindsay Whalen each had 15 for the Sun (10-10), which was 12-for-22 from the free-throw line.

Montgomery, the team's No. 1 draft pick this year, hit a 3-pointer with 5:41 to play for a 81-78 Lynx lead. She was 9-of-13 from the field.

"Today I just decided to be more aggressive and go to the rim until they stopped me," she said.

Anosike made a pair of free throws and Montgomery two more in the final 2 minutes for Minnesota for a 91-86 lead. The Lynx, wearing pink uniforms as part of Breast Health Awareness Night, were 23-for-31 from the line.

Anosike, an All-Star selection, was averaging six points in the three games since the All-Star break after scoring 33 in her previous two games. Her 10th career double-double tied Svetlana Abrosimova for the most in franchise history.

"She was playing 32, 34 minutes in the first half (of the season) and she really needed a break," Gillom said. "I don't want to make excuses, but, yeah, it was definitely a factor."

Connecticut was 3-of-8 from the line in the final quarter.

"We've got some good free-throw shooters," Connecticut coach Mike Thibault said. "Jekabsone never misses, I don't think ever, and she missed some. Some other people missed two or three and that was a chance when the game could have been tied one point either way. Those are giveaway points."

The Sun fell from second to fourth in the Eastern Conference, a half-game ahead of Chicago for the final playoff spot.

Back-to-back 3-pointers by Tan White and Jekabsone-Zogota gave the Sun a 37-27 lead midway through second quarter, but the Lynx cut it to 48-45 at the half.

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