Minnesota pulls away from Sparks for a 72-64 victory
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) Maya Moore scored 20 points, Sylvia Fowles added 15 and nine rebounds and the Minnesota Lynx beat the Los Angeles Sparks 72-64 on Sunday night to snap a two-game losing streak.
The Sparks were without four-time WNBA All-Star Alana Beard, who played just 8 minutes before leaving the game with a pulled quadriceps. Beard was sidelined two games into the season by plantar fasciitis and returned after the All-Star Game along with two-time MVP Candace Parker.
With Parker and Beard in the lineup, Los Angeles had won four straight games, including an 83-61 win over the Lynx - Minnesota's worst loss of the season.
Nneka Ogwumike led the Sparks with 18 points.
Renee Montgomery's driving layup capped a run of 13 straight points in the first quarter to give Minnesota a 20-6 lead and the Lynx held a 37-32 lead at halftime.
Los Angeles (7-15) battled back and Kristi Toliver's fourth 3-pointer of the game pulled the Sparks within one with 4:58 left, but Minnesota (16-6) answered with six straight points to push its lead to 65-58.
The Western Conference-leading Lynx lost back-to-back games at Los Angeles and Phoenix before coming home for the rematch with the Sparks. Minnesota is 9-2 at home and holds a two-game lead over second-place Phoenix in the conference standings.