Sparks wrap up road trip at red-hot Lynx

National Sports

The Los Angeles Sparks complete a six-game road swing looking to snap a four-game losing skid, while the Minnesota Lynx aim to extend their three-game winning streak Thursday in Minneapolis.

Minnesota (16-9) posted its highest-scoring output of the season to kick off its current run, beating Chicago on Aug. 21, 101-95. The Lynx followed that with stingy defensive efforts against Seattle and New York on Aug. 24 and 31.

The Lynx held the reigning WNBA champion Storm to 70 points in a six-point win to kick off a four-game homestand, then stifled the Liberty on Tuesday, 74-66.

“Our offense was pretty darned ugly,” Minnesota coach Cheryl Reeve said in her postgame press conference Tuesday, following a 34.8 percent shooting performance. “But we’ve always preached that when your offense isn’t getting it done, you have to win anyway. You win with your defense.”

Minnesota’s current winning streak pushes its record to 11-2 over the last 13, dating back to June 23. The win over New York was the first in that stretch without Sylvia Fowles, who sustained a shoulder injury on the heels of a 29-point, 20-rebound performance against Seattle.

Fowles’ timetable for return is unclear ahead of Thursday’s matchup with Los Angeles. The potential absence of the league’s second-leading rebounder, who is averaging 10 per game, could be a reprieve for a Sparks team facing its own question marks in the frontcourt.

Los Angeles (10-17) played without forward Chiney Ogwumike (rest) Tuesday at Indiana, where the Sparks were outrebounded 39-20 and gave up a 10-0 run to close a 74-72 loss.

Tuesday’s defeat marked the Sparks’ fourth straight and 10th in the past 14 games, dropping Los Angeles two places out of the last spot in the WNBA Playoffs race.

Lauren Cox scored 14 points off the bench against Indiana to help fuel a third-quarter surge. The Sparks led most of the second half before the late-game collapse.

“We have to focus on this next one. It’s going to be a tough game for us,” Cox said of Minnesota in her postgame press conference.

–Field Level Media

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