June 14, 2014

The Minnesota Lynx will try to stay perfect Tuesday against a team they already have handled twice this season.

Minnesota is one of two teams off to a 7-0 start in the WNBA -- the Los Angeles Sparks are the other -- and it will be going for its third victory over the struggling Phoenix Mercury, which enters the matchup at 2-5.

The Lynx won 95-76 at Target Center on May 14 and 85-78 in Phoenix on May 25.

Forward Maya Moore has been at the forefront of everything for the Lynx. The league's Western Conference Player of the Month for May posted her two highest-scoring efforts of the season against Phoenix, with 27 in the first game and 34 in the second.

The Mercury, even with guard Diana Taurasi back after taking a season's hiatus in 2015, are winless in three road games. Taurasi is averaging 20.0 points per game, fourth in the league. Moore is second at 21.0.

Phoenix is also getting 14.4 points per game from forward Penny Taylor, who returned to the franchise this season after sitting out 2015. Taurasi and Taylor were part of the Mercury's championship squads in 2007, 2009 and 2014.

But the Mercury rank last in the league in scoring defense (88.6 points per game allowed), while the Lynx are second (72.6) and lead the WNBA in steals at 11.4 per game. Minnesota has held four consecutive opponents to under 15 points in the first quarter.

"I thought we got some deflections and some good stops out there on defense," Lynx guard Lindsay Whalen said on WNBA.com after an 80-63 win over the Dallas Wings on Saturday. "We were able to get out and run."

The Lynx and Sparks are chasing the best start in WNBA history -- a record that belongs to the 2012 Lynx, who reeled off 10 consecutive victories at the beginning of the season.

"We just have a group that came out of the gates and said, 'We don't want to be a team that lets games early in the season get away from us because we weren't quite ready,'" Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve told WNBA.com.

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