Lynx Top Sparks to Snap 10-game Skid

Minnesota 85, Los Angeles 76

MINNEAPOLIS, July 27 (AP) -- Svetlana Abrosimova and Seimone Augustus scored 23 points each and the Minnesota Lynx beat the Los Angeles Sparks 85-76 on Friday night, snapping the club's franchise-record tying 10-game losing streak.

Nicole Ohlde had 10 points and 12 rebounds for the Lynx (6-20), which led by as many as 16 points in the fourth quarter and beat a team with a losing record for the first time in 10 tries this season.

"Other than the last 8 minutes of the Phoenix game (a 103-79 loss Wednesday) they've really fought, so I was really happy to see them persevere and get a victory,'' Minnesota coach Don Zierden said.

Instead of focusing on new plays or stressing a defensive technique, Zierden replaced Thursday's practice with a fun time, including shooting games, because he sensed the players were tired.

"I think we should have more of those,'' Ohlde said. "It was relaxing and it put a smile back on people's faces.''

Mwadi Mabika had 14 points and Marta Fernandez 12 for Los Angeles, which began the night three games behind Seattle for the final Western Conference playoff position. The Sparks (8-15) have lost nine of 10 and 13 of 16.

With the Lynx leading 46-41 early in the second half, Augustus scored five points in a 9-0 run, including a free throw after a technical was assessed to Sparks coach Michael Cooper for arguing. A layup by Ohlde and drive by Augustus made it 61-46 less than 3 minutes later.

Fernandez scored five straight points midway through the final quarter to get Los Angeles within 75-70, but a jumper and two free throws by Augustus, and a 3-pointer by Abrosimova quickly pushed the lead back to 12.

"We just needed to continue our run,'' said Los Angeles' Kiesha Brown, who scored all seven of her points in the fourth quarter. "We're going to have breakdowns here and there, that's part of the game. You just have to stay constant through it all. Once we find a good consistency through 40 minutes we're going to be pretty good.''

Abrosimova, averaging 21.5 points in five games since the All-Star break, had 12 first half points, and Augustus nine, to lead the Lynx to a 42-37 halftime lead.

Mabika had 12 points in the opening half for Los Angeles, including three 3-pointers.

Minnesota was 20-for-22 from the free-throw line; Los Angeles 14-for-16.