Sparks ends Lynx's record opening winning streak at 13
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) Kristi Toliver tied a career high with seven 3-pointers and scored a season high 25 points to help the Los Angeles Sparks beat Minnesota 94-76 on Friday night, ending the defending champion Lynx's record season-opening winning streak at 13 games.
Toliver sank a 3-pointer with 4:22 left and Candace Parker had a putback on Los Angeles' next possession for a 76-70 lead. Parker hit a 3 to extend Los Angeles' lead to 81-72 and she drew an offensive foul on the other end. After a timeout, Essence Carson made Los Angeles' fourth 3 of the quarter to make it 84-72 with 2:03 left.
Nneka Ogwumike added 20 points and nine rebounds for Los Angeles (12-1), which is ranked No. 2 in the AP power poll. Parker finished with 14 points, nine rebounds and five assists.
''I thought L.A. had way more bounce in their step than we did throughout most of the game,'' Minnesota coach Cheryl Reeve said. ''They were very persistent, they executed, they executed on their timeouts well. We just didn't have all of that.''
Maya Moore was the only starter to reach double figures for top-ranked Minnesota (13-1). She made six 3-pointers and scored 28 points for her sixth 20-plus game of the season.
Los Angeles avenged a home loss to Minnesota on Tuesday night to remain undefeated on the road in front of a crowd of 13,003.
The teams combined to make a 3-pointer on six straight possessions at the start of the third quarter. Moore started the spurt and made all three for Minnesota. Parker hit one and Toliver made the following two for Los Angeles.
Jantel Lavender hit a long jumper with 36 seconds left in the third to push Los Angeles' lead to 65-56. The Sparks made the initial stop on Minnesota's next possession, but a bad pass led to a Moore 3-pointer as the Lynx pulled to 65-59.
Lavender scored eight of her 10 points in the third and Moore tied a franchise record with five 3-pointers in the quarter.
It was only the second time this season Minnesota has trailed entering the fourth quarter.
Lindsay Whalen went coast-to-coast and converted a 3-point play to pull Minnesota to 71-68 with 7:13 left in the fourth. But the teams went scoreless for the next 2:18 and the Lynx only made three field goals the rest of the way.