The Los Angeles Sparks went on the road and beat the Minnesota Lynx 70-64 Friday night. The Sparks got 23 points from Chelsea Gray, 19 points from Candace Parker and 14 points and five assists from Odyssey Sims. Although reigning WNBA MVP Nneka Ogwumike and Alana Beard were held to a combined five points, their defensive efforts on Minnesota’s Maya Moore and Sylvia Fowles were critical to the Sparks win.
It was a statement victory for the defending champions, who are looking to prove they are still the best team in the WNBA. The win improved the Sparks record to 19-7 while the Lynx fell to 21-4. The Lynx came in confident atop the WNBA standings. Despite last year’s Game 5 home loss in the WNBA Finals, Minnesota has won three out of the last six championships and is the favorite again this year. They also beat the Sparks 88-77 in their first meeting this season on July 6th.
The game was tied at 36 at the half, but the Sparks came out on fire in the third quarter, outscoring the Lynx 21-8 in the frame. Although Minnesota made a late push in the fourth quarter, a late jumper by Ogwumike gave the Sparks a 68-63 lead and they held on.
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With the loss the Lynx fell to 1-2 since losing Lindsay Whalen to hand surgery. The Sparks and Lynx will meet one last time in the regular season on Aug. 27th in Los Angeles:
— Los Angeles Sparks (@LA_Sparks) August 12, 2017