Healthy Hightower: 'There's no looking back now'

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Healthy Hightower: 'There's no looking back now'

FOXBORO -- Patriots rookie linebacker Dont'a Hightower returned to game action on Sunday against the Jets, after missing the previous two games with a hamstring injury.

And he didn't miss a beat.

Hightower recorded a season-high seven tackles and a sack in New England's overtime win. It was just one of the signs that he was held back for two games as a "precaution."

"We waited it out," said Hightower before Thursday's practice. "I got treatment and felt a lot better. So, there's no looking back now. I'm doing everything I can to prevent a hamstring pull or anything like that again. I'm just doing everything I can to stay on the field."

So, just how do you go about preventing a hamstring injury?

"Keep stretching, stay hydrated, just a lot of things," said Hightower. "Make sure you're eating right, the weight thing. Just more or less, stretching more. I think that was probably my biggest problem. But I'm definitely taking care of that now."

And now that he feels healthy, Hightower knows his role on the field once he's done stretching.

"My role is to hit the dude with the ball," he said. "So that's what I'm doing. So, as long as I do that, and Vince Wilfork and Jerod Mayo aren't yelling at me, I feel like I'm doing my job."

Now almost midway through his first NFL season, Hightower realizes how important veterans like Wilfork and Mayo are around him on the field.

"Those guys have seen a lot and they've been through a lot," said Hightower. "It feels good to have an older guy that you can kind of talk to about certain things that you see and that you feel about, that other rookies can't really help you out because they haven't been here.

"So, having those two guys to fall back on, definitely makes my life a little bit easier. If there are certain concepts I don't understand, I can just talk to Mayo or Vince about it."

And while having veterans around him is nice, Hightower also finds pleasure in seeing fellow rookies making an impact.

"It just feels good to look over and see Chandler Jones and Alfonzo Dennard and Tavon Wilson and Nate Ebner," said Hightower. "All those guys, we got drafted together, and we've been through OTA's together and all of the offseason workouts and all that stuff together. It feels good to see all that hard work and all that dedication that we put in, to see the young guys out on the field making plays and making an impact."

Lynx beat Sun for 2nd time in 3 days, 82-68

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Lynx beat Sun for 2nd time in 3 days, 82-68

Sylvia Fowles had 20 points and nine rebounds to help the Minnesota Lynx beat the Connecticut Sun for the second time in three days, 82-68 on Friday night.

Minnesota has won 22 straight games in the month of May since 2012. The Lynx beat the Sun 80-78 on Tuesday night in Minnesota.

Rebekkah Brunson and Renee Montgomery each scored 11 points for Minnesota (5-0), ranked second in the AP power poll. Fowles entered with double-doubles in three of her first four games.

Maya Moore missed her first seven field goals and finally got a baseline jumper to fall with 8:40 left in the fourth quarter. She finished with seven points and 11 rebounds to help the Lynx control the glass by a 43-27 margin.

The Lynx led 42-26 at halftime after holding the Sun to 25.7 percent shooting. Minnesota made 13 of 14 free throws in the first half and finished 22 of 25.

Lynetta Kizer scored 12 points for 11th-ranked Connecticut (0-4).