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Minn. Lynx Beat Portland Fire 60-46

June 14, 2002

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MINNEAPOLIS (AP) _ Katie Smith scored 11 of her 17 points in the second half, and the Minnesota Lynx rallied to beat the Portland Fire 60-46 Thursday night.

After leading 30-26 at the break, the Fire were held without a basket for more than 10 minutes in the second half.

``Defense was the key to getting us scoring opportunities, but we were also able to make them struggle,″ said Smith. ``We did a little bit of everything right in the second half.″

Tamika Williams added 14 points for Minnesota, which led by just three with 12:17 to play before holding Portland scoreless from the floor until 2:16 remained.

By that time, Minnesota’s lead had grown to 12 points. Portland was unable to rally, and it’s two-game losing streak ended.

``Minnesota really picked up their aggressive play in the second half, and we matched it for a while, but then we went cold,″ said Fire coach Linda Hargrove. ``I don’t think I’ve seen us go 10 minutes without a field goal.″

Reserve Stacey Thomas led the Fire in the first half, scoring six points and grabbing six rebounds as Portland overcame a slow start to lead at halftime.

``We got off to a good start and then we started missing shots and missing layups, which gave them some confidence,″ said Minnesota coach Brian Agler. ``But in the second half, we did some good things defensively.″

DeMya Walker scored 10 points to lead the Fire for the game. Thomas was Portland’s leading rebounder with eight, while Svetlana Abrosimova had 13 rebounds for Minnesota.

``They’re our nemesis,″ Thomas said of the Lynx. ``They out-hustled us in the second half and got to every rebound and every loose ball. That can’t happen if we want to win games.″

Notes: The Lynx have trailed at halftime in six of their seven games this season. Their lone halftime lead came in Tuesday’s home win against Sacramento ... Portland forward Alisa Burras entered the game leading the league in field goal percentage at .722. She was 1-for-2 Thursday. ... Agler continues to take heat from some Lynx fans for Tuesday’s trade of Betty Lennox to Miami. At the start of Thursday’s a game, a fan at center court displayed a large sign that read ``TRADE BRIAN.″

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