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Lynx begin title defense with win over Mercury

In a rematch of last year's WNBA Western Conference final, the defending champion Minnesota Lynx defeated the Phoenix Mercury, 105-83, on Sunday at Target Center.

The Lynx swept the Mercury in two games en route to their first WNBA title in team history last season and kicked off their 2012 campaign with a double- digit victory in the season opener for both squads.

Seimone Augustus paced the Lynx's attack with 19 points but left the game late in the third quarter with a rib injury after she landed with her midsection on top of a courtside seat as she dove to save a loose ball.

Monica Wright followed with 15 points while Maya Moore and Lindsay Whalen each chipped in 13.

The 2011 WNBA scoring champion Diana Taurasi sat out the Mercury's season opener because of a strained hip flexor. Charde Houston carried the load without Taurasi, pouring in 24 points, while DeWanna Bonner added 22.

The game was tied 20-20 after the first 10 minutes but Minnesota imposed it's will in the second quarter, outscoring the Mercury by 13 in the frame to take a 56-43 advantage into the locker room.

The Lynx shot 64.7 percent from the field in the second half as they cruised to a double-digit victory.