for this game

Lynx-Shock Preview

Jul 30, 2009 - 5:38 PM By PAUL DIGIACOMO STATS Senior Editor

Minnesota (10-8) at Detroit (5-9), 7:30 p.m. EDT

It's been five years since the Minnesota Lynx beat the Detroit Shock on the road. They appear to have a great chance to put an end to that futility Friday night.

Detroit (5-9) has one of the worst records in the WNBA one season after winning its third title in six years. The Shock have gone through a coaching change with Rick Mahorn replacing Bill Laimbeer, who resigned three games into the season June 15.

The club is 4-7 under Mahorn, losing three of four at home. That's good news for Minnesota (10-8), which has dropped its last four visits to The Palace.

Detroit will be playing for the first time since the All-Star break. The Shock went to overtime for the fourth time in six games July 22, falling 98-95 to Atlanta at home.

Kara Braxton had a season-high 25 points and 12 rebounds for the Shock, who saw second-leading scorer Deanna Nolan shoot 3 for 20 from the field.

Nolan, who has been dealing with various injuries all season, missed a pair of 3-point attempts in the final 18 seconds of overtime. Detroit also played its second straight game without forward Cheryl Ford (knee).

The Lynx have been without leading scorer Seimone Augustus for more than a month. The fourth-year guard was averaging 21.0 points before tearing the ACL in her left knee during a 104-80 loss at Phoenix on June 17, ending her season.

Minnesota won three of its first four games after the injury but has recently shown signs of missing its star player.

The Lynx fell for the third time in four games Tuesday, 76-70 at home to Los Angeles to drop to 6-6 with Augustus sidelined. They lost despite rallying to take the lead in the fourth quarter after trailing by 13 at halftime.

"There were times we had shining moments, but I'm proud of them for making the comeback we did," coach Jennifer Gillom said. "The moments that were critical were the times we had good-looking shots and the ball would just rim out. It's just unfortunate."

Another Lynx player is struggling with an injury, as starting guard Candice Wiggins played a season-low 16 minutes due to fluid buildup in her right knee.

Gillom said Wiggins, who averages 13.0 points and 2.6 assists per game, would be fine for Friday.

Spanish star Anna Montanana made her WNBA debut for the Lynx on Tuesday, finishing with two points, two rebounds and two fouls in 15 minutes. The 6-foot-1 forward most recently played in the EuroBasket tournament with Spain, averaging 16.2 points, 4.1 rebounds and 1.8 assists in nine games.