Lynx happy to see August end after struggling this month
NEW YORK (AP) The Minnesota Lynx came into the season as the prohibitive favorite to win their third WNBA championship in five seasons. Acquiring Olympian Sylvia Fowles in late July did nothing to change that.
Yet August hasn't been kind to the Lynx, who are just 8-6 since trading for Fowles.
''We're still just trying to get everything going,'' Maya Moore said after the team lost to New York on Friday night.
Moore has been doing her part, averaging just under 21 points a game. Still, her shooting is down from last season. The reigning MVP shot 48 percent from the field last season, but is converting only 42 percent this year.
Part of Minnesota's woes lately is an injury to Seimone Augustus. She's missed the team's last four games with a left foot injury. She said she's working her way back and hopes to return soon.
''It's getting better, but I'm still day-to-day,'' Augustus said. ''It's frustrating to see us struggling and not be able to play right now.''
Augustus was hard-pressed to remember a time when the Lynx scuffled as much as they have been lately - especially since drafting Moore with the top pick in 2011.
''It's definitely been a while,'' Augustus said. ''We'll get things right again soon, I have no doubt.''
Minnesota (20-10) also lost point guard Lindsay Whalen in Sunday's win over Phoenix. The All-Star guard left in the second quarter due to lingering bursitis in her right heel and Achilles soreness. She will be evaluated by doctors on Monday.
''It was already concerning going into the game, she's been booted for a little while,'' Minnesota coach Cheryl Reeve said. ''She was trying to gut it out for us and probably is going to be out for a little bit.''
With a three-game lead over Phoenix and four games left, Reeve hopes that Whalen can get some time to heal.
''I'm not sure we're going to really push that,'' she said.
STAT OF THE WEEK: New York took over the league's best record this week and also secured its first 20-win season since 2010. At 20-8, it's the fastest that the Liberty have reached the 20-win mark in franchise history. New York has a three-game lead in the Eastern Conference and leads Minnesota by one game for the league's best record.
POSTSEASON BOUND: Tulsa is headed to the playoffs for the first time since the team moved to Oklahoma. The Shock had gotten off to a strong start at 8-1 before losing Skylar Diggins for the season with a torn ACL. Now they'll get a chance to play in the postseason once before moving to Dallas-Fort Worth next year.
''It means a lot. For women's basketball, and myself being in it. I've worked hard,'' coach Fred Williams said. ''For the city of Tulsa, I told them we were going to do big things here and I thought this was one of the biggest days for our franchise and our organization here and for our fans. They deserve this.''
GAME OF THE WEEK: Shock at Sparks, Sunday. Tulsa clinched its first playoff berth since moving from Detroit in 2010. The Sparks haven't secured a postseason berth yet, but Sunday's game will conclude a three-game homestand.
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