Lynx Use Big Fourth Quarter to Defeat Sparks

Minnesota 88, Los Angeles 70

LOS ANGELES, July 3 (AP) - Seimone Augustus scored a season-high 29 points to lead the Minnesota Lynx to an 88-70 victory over the Los Angeles Sparks on Thursday night.

Candice Wiggins added 19 points off the bench and Nicky Anosike grabbed 10 rebounds for the Lynx (9-8), who ended a two-game losing streak.

"There were a lot of 1-on-1 situations where I was able to attack the basket or dish out to Candice or Noelle (Quinn),'' said Augustus, who made 12 of 21 shots. "When (the Sparks) went into a zone, I just found a gap.''

Lisa Leslie had a season-high 26 points and 10 rebounds for the Sparks (10-6), who fell into second place in the Western Conference - a half-game behind San Antonio.

Candace Parker and Marie Ferdinand-Harris each added 12 points for Los Angeles.

"I liked our frontcourt intensity but we threw the ball away too much in the second half,'' Sparks coach Michael Cooper said. "These are tough games to swallow but I think they are going to make us become the team we're supposed to be.''

Minnesota began the fourth quarter with a 15-0 blitz that gave the Lynx a 71-55 lead with 6:06 to play. Augustus scored six points during the spree and Wiggins added four.

"Their front line is as awesome as the game has ever had,'' Lynx coach Don Zierden said of Leslie, Parker and DeLisha Milton-Jones. "I haven't slept in 24 hours; I've been looking at film trying to think about how we can get lucky. But you know what? At the end of the day, it comes down to this: We made some shots in the fourth quarter and they had some go in and out. That ends up being the game.''

The Lynx made five of their first six shots in the final quarter but the Sparks scored their first points of that period with 5:26 to play.

Los Angeles shot a season-low 36.8 percent and missed 17 of 20 shots from 3-point range.

Minnesota in Los Angeles for the first time since 2004.

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