In a rematch of a Tuesday thriller between the top teams in the WNBA, the undefeated Minnesota Lynx play host to the one-loss Los Angeles Sparks on Friday at Target Center.
The Lynx pulled out a tight, back-and-forth win on Tuesday in Los Angeles, with reserve guard Renee Montgomery hitting a 3-pointer in the final seconds to help Minnesota prevail and hand the Sparks their first loss of the season.
The Lynx (13-0) won despite losing former MVP Maya Moore to a thigh injury early in the third quarter. Moore's status for Friday's rematch was unknown as of late Thursday afternoon. The team leader in scoring and assists this season had eight points, six rebounds and three assists before leaving Tuesday's win.
"It's strength in numbers. It's next one up always," Montgomery told the team's website. "Of course we would want our MVP Maya to be in the game. But it's strength in numbers right now.
"We know if someone is hurt, you have to step up. Obviously, one person can't fill (Moore's) shoes. If (Moore) is out, we all have step up and help her out."
Minnesota owned the backboards in Tuesday's game, outrebounding Los Angeles 42-29. Sylvia Fowles had 11 rebounds and helped contain the Sparks' high-powered frontcourt of Candace Parker and Nneka Ogwumike.
Parker and Ogwumike have combined to average 32.7 points this season, but the duo was held 18 points on Tuesday. Guard Kristi Tolliver scored 20 points, including four 3-pointers.
The loss wasn't a poor performance by the Sparks (11-1), who shot 40 percent from the field and were competitive in every statistical category except rebounds. The discrepancy on the boards, though, led to Los Angeles attempting 10 fewer field goals than Minnesota.
The Sparks were held to fewer than 70 points for the second time this season. Minnesota is second in the WNBA in points allowed behind Los Angeles.
The Lynx have won four of the last five meetings with the Sparks, including two of three in last season's Western Conference playoff series.
The two powerhouses won't meet again until Sept. 6 in Los Angeles.