Surging Lynx to meet struggling Mystics

National Sports

The Minnesota Lynx aim to continue their torrid ascent Saturday when they play host to the skidding Washington Mystics in Minneapolis.

The Lynx (17-9) posted their fourth win in a row and 12th in their last 14 games Thursday with a 66-57 victory over the Los Angeles Sparks.

Sylvia Fowles collected 15 points and 17 rebounds in her return from a one-game absence due to an injured shoulder.

“The shoulder is holding up,” Fowles said to the St. Paul Pioneer Press. “It felt better than I thought it would. I trust (Lynx head trainer) Chuck (Barta) and (the training staff) to do their thing. I had a lot of cushion and taping and all that stuff going on.

“So it felt good and I was happy with the outcome.”

Kayla McBride followed up her 25-point performance in Minnesota’s 74-66 victory over the New York Liberty on Tuesday with a team-best 17 against the Sparks.

Napheesa Collier made just 1 of 7 shots to finish with five points on Thursday. She led the Lynx in points (22) and rebounds (nine) in an 85-81 loss to the Mystics on June 8.

While Minnesota is ascending, Washington (10-16) is tumbling. The Mystics have lost 10 of their last 13 games.

Playing without two-time WNBA MVP Elena Delle Donne (back) and former league MVP Tina Charles (left gluteal), the short-handed Mystics were competitive before dropping an 85-75 decision to the Connecticut Sun on Tuesday.

“We just don’t have matchups right now,” Mystics coach Mike Thibault said. “We’re undersized. There’s no Tina, there’s no Elena, and it’s just hard. They’re big and strong, and we’re guarding 6-7 with 6-1. And we try to double them some, we tried to help, but if you do that too much, you’re giving up wide open 3s.”

Shatori Walker-Kimbrough scored a season-high 17 points, while Myisha Hines-Allen and Ariel Atkins added 16 apiece in the loss.

“It’s tough, but at the end of the day, yes, we’re short-handed, but no one feels bad for us,” Walker-Kimbrough said. “So we can’t feel bad for ourselves. We have to figure it out. Every team is facing adversity. We’re facing adversity. So we just got to figure it out just like everyone else.”

–Field Level Media

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