July 05, 2014

The Minnesota Lynx have made a habit of getting off to undefeated starts over the last few years, but to keep that going Tuesday night they'll have to get past a New York Liberty team that's had its way with the defending champs of late.

Minnesota (5-0) has opened with at least three straight victories for the fourth time in five seasons following Friday's 74-71 win over Indiana in a rematch of last year's WNBA Finals.

The Lynx played two days after completing a three-game road trip through Chicago, Seattle and Phoenix, and while they got off to a good start, the travel seemed to catch up to them in the second half.

Minnesota ran out to a 29-6 lead after one quarter and was up 50-27 at the half before Indiana outscored the Lynx 44-24 the rest of the way to make it interesting.

"We talked a lot at halftime about this is pro sports, having a 23-point lead doesn't mean anything and to come out focused," coach Cheryl Reeve told the team's official website. "Defensively we really didn't do anything; or as good of a job as we would have hoped in the second half. .... Ultimately there is a 'W' next to this game."

Lindsay Whalen scored 10 of her 12 points in the first five minutes for Minnesota, which is in the midst of playing eight of 12 on the road.

"Not sure I've been on a run like that to start a game," Whalen said. " ... Coming off a road trip, we were gone for six straight days, two games on the West Coast. Came back here, haven't practiced, just played today and came out to a great start."

Minnesota now heads to Madison Square Garden to take on the Liberty, who have won three straight in this series following a six-game losing streak. The Lynx are 8-3 in their last 11 regular-season games dating to 2015, with New York handing them two of those defeats.

The Liberty enter this matchup coming off back-to-back losses - both in overtime at home - after opening the season with consecutive victories.

Tina Charles has recorded a double-double in all four games after having 29 points, 10 rebounds, six assists and a career-high seven steals in last Tuesday's 85-79 defeat to Atlanta.

Charles leads the WNBA with 23.5 points and 12.0 rebounds per game and is fourth in steals (2.8) and 10th in assists (4.0). The 2012 WNBA MVP totaled 36 points and 25 rebounds in the two wins over the Lynx last season.

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