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Minutes after a tense, rally-filled fight that ended with a 89-84 loss to the Connecticut Sun, Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve sat on the podium, rested her chin in her hand and found no silver linings.

"You have to win your home games. You have to win your home games," she lamented. "It's not OK. Our fans adore us. They expect different from us."

The difference that Reeve expects is a defensive identity that doesn't fold at key moments.

"You have a team right there and you give up layups," she said, disgust dripping off the last word. "You don't know the play that's coming? [Assistant coach] Katie [Smith] tells them what play is coming. They still get layups on us."

If frustration is settling in, there's good reason. The Lynx fell to 0-6 and are one loss away from matching the worst start in franchise history when they went 0-7 to open the 2007 season, three years before Reeve took over.

Napheesa Collier, who was electric offensively all night with a season-high 30 points on 10-for-18 shooting, said the pattern for the Lynx is growing tired.

"The game was for the taking for us, but due to stupid moves on our part, turnovers or letting them score in the paint, we let it slip through our fingers," she said. "We need to learn how to win. … We could be 4-2 right now, easily."

Nothing came easy Thursday night. The Lynx were gritty and resilient. They attacked the Connecticut defense and hit their first 20 free throws to keep the game close. They didn't quit after giving up a 12-0 run to start the third quarter and falling behind by 15. Late in the fourth quarter they tied the score 79-79. With 1 minute, 31 seconds remaining, Dorka Juhász was at the line with a chance to take the lead — and she missed both attempts.

If it showed resiliency, Reeve said it highlighted an opposing attribute just as well.

"Why do you get down 15?" she asked. "You don't play defense in the third, at all. At all. They scored 10 points in three minutes and we didn't score."

Does she take anything from battling back?

"I don't," she said.

Throughout the night, Connecticut was the more balanced team. The Sun surged offensively off 14 Lynx turnovers and outscored Minnesota on the fast break 13-2. Even more telling, Connecticut held a 52-26 advantage on points in the paint.

Alyssa Thomas was as advertised for the Sun, scoring 16 points to go along with 16 assists and nine rebounds — and when the team needed her most, she scored six of the Sun's final eight points in the final 3:40 of the game.

"There is nobody that plays the game harder than her, smarter than her," Reeve said.

Natisha Hiedeman, who the Lynx drafted in 2019, added a crucial spark in the second half for Connecticut. She finished with a team-high 19 points on 7-for-13 shooting.

The Lynx used their fifth starting lineup in six games this season, this time because of the loss of rookie guard Diamond Miller — who was averaging 12.4 points on 53.5% shooting to go along with 3.6 rebounds and three assists per game. The No. 2 overall pick in the 2023 WNBA draft is out indefinitely because of an ankle injury that had her in a walking-boot with crutches on the sideline. Reeve said the medical team would likely have an update on Miller's status Friday.

Her absence isn't going to make the search for a win any easier. Next comes a two-game road trip before the Lynx return home to celebrate their 25th anniversary on June 9 vs. Indiana.

"You have to keep going," Reeve said. "There is no end in sight."