June 19, 2014

The Minnesota Lynx will try to regain sole possession of first place in the Western Conference when they play host to the Washington Mystics on Friday night at Target Center in Minneapolis, Minn.

Minnesota (22-5) and the Los Angeles Sparks are tied atop the Western Conference standings after the Sparks beat the San Antonio Stars on Thursday.

Washington (10-16) is fifth in the Eastern Conference, two games behind the fourth-place Indiana Fever and 8 1/2 games back of the first-place New York Liberty.

Minnesota is coming off a 92-80 victory over the Seattle Storm after suffering an 84-80 loss to the Connecticut Sun in its first game after the Olympic break. Lindsay Whalen scored a season-high 24 points in the win over Seattle. The Lynx trailed 47-41 at the half.

The Lynx has won seven of its last eight games and nine of 11 to keep pace with Los Angeles, which will play host to the Lynx on Sept. 6 in a game that could be a big factor in determining the Western Conference champion.

Minnesota will play four of its last five games on the road after concluding its current three-game homestand against Connecticut on Sunday.

Washington posted a 92-69 victory over Indiana in its first game after the Olympic break but then suffered an 85-74 loss to the San Antonio Stars. Tayler Hill scored 25 points in the loss, but the Mystics shot just 33.8 percent from the field and 64.9 percent from the free-throw line.

Minnesota and Washington have already met twice this season. Minnesota beat Washington 83-76 on June 11, but the Mystics handed the Lynx a stunning 87-63 loss on June 26.

Seimone Augustus scored 21 points for Minnesota in the first meeting. In the second game, Emma Meesseman scored 20 points for Washington, which shot 47.1 percent while holding the Lynx to 37.7-percent shooting. Minnesota star Maya Moore was held to five points on 2-of-9 shooting in that contest.

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