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Sparks 81, Lynx 71: Road Tripped

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Minnesota has now lost eight of its last 11 games.

Photo by Adam Pantozzi/NBAE via Getty Images

We’re doing this in reverse.

Trailing by as much as 30 in the third quarter, the Lynx rallied to cut the Sparks lead to just eight points in the final minutes of the game. Lexie Brown scored 19 of her game-high 20 points in the final 17 minutes of a furious comeback. Minnesota outscored Los Angeles 27-13 in the final frame. The fourth quarter was an entirely different experience from the three that preceded it.

Unfortunately for the Lynx, game was decided before the fourth quarter even began. Minnesota was absolutely dominated by the Sparks in the first three quarters Tuesday night.

The defining stretch of the game happened midway through the second quarter. Minnesota started the quarter strong and actually briefly took the lead when things went south. The Sparks launched into a 23-4 run powered by Lynx turnovers that unlocked free flowing, early action for LA. Alexis Jones scored 14 of her career high 17 points in the second quarter. The former Lynx appeared to be highly motivated and made a number of uncharacteristically confident plays on the offensive end. For the second game in a row the Lynx pick and roll coverage was messy. Sparks bigs rolled unencumbered to the rim for easy points. At halftime the Los Angeles lead was 17.

Sometimes the first few minutes after halftime can say a lot about how the game will go. This was the case in this one as the Sparks pushed their lead to 30 in the first four minutes of the third quarter. Bridging the half, from the 7:30 mark of the second quarter to the 3:09 mark of the third quarter the Lynx were outscored 46-17.

Despite the heroics of Brown in the final 1/5th of the game, the game was out of hand long before the final buzzer. The Sparks limped to the finish line, but the outcome never felt in question.

Notes

Seimone Augustus did not start the game despite being eligible and healthy. She had started every game (364) of her 14 year career until Tuesday. In seven minutes on the floor she was yet again ineffective, shooting 1/3 from the floor.

Odyssey Sims had a rough night overall. The former Spark was definitely forcing the issue as she finished the game with six turnovers.

Los Angeles is just plain good. Again. The’ve been on the rise since the All-Star break and round out a really nice top-four in the WNBA. Don’t be surprised to see the Sparks in the Finals.

Next Up

The Lynx return home to lick their wounds. They’ll play their next four games at Target Center starting with Dallas on Thursday. Tip off is set for 7pm.

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