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Houston helps Lynx rally past Storm, 76-68

Sep 6, 2009 - 2:53 AM MINNEAPOLIS(AP) -- Charde Houston had 22 points and the Minnesota Lynx rallied to beat the short-handed Seattle Storm 76-68 on Saturday night.

Candice Wiggins scored nine of her 18 points int he fourth quarter to help the Lynx (13-18) win for just the third time in 14 games.

"That's exactly what we needed," Lynx coach Jennifer Gillom said. "To me it showed a lot of character. I love the way this team handled adversity."

Houston hit a hook shot in the paint with 1:48 to play to snap a 68-all tie.

Tanisha Wright scored 20 points to lead the Storm (19-13), who played without All-Stars Sue Bird and Lauren Jackson. Despite the loss, Seattle clinched second place in the Western Conference - and home-court advantage in the first round - when third-place Los Angeles lost at San Antonio.

Jackson, sidelined with a stress fracture in her back, did not accompany the Storm on their three-game road trip, and Bird was out due to a sore neck.

Seattle missed 10 of its first 11 shots as Minnesota raced to an 18-5 lead after the first quarter - setting a Lynx record for the fewest points allowed in a quarter.

They stretched the advantage to 16 in the second quarter, led by Houston's 11 first-half points.

Swin Cash hit a buzzer-beating 3-pointer to pull the Storm to 39-29 at the break.

"In the first quarter we were kind of passive, but from the second quarter on we played very, very good basketball," Storm coach Brian Agler said. "Undermanned a little bit, with a couple key players out, still we did enough to win that game."

Minnesota struggled in the third quarter, just as Seattle started playing better. Wright scored 12 points in the third and the Storm took their first lead of the game with 4:40 left, were ahead 59-56 going into the fourth quarter.

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