LOS ANGELES, Aug. 23 (Ticker) -- Despite their leader having an off night, the Los Angeles Sparks' playoff hopes still are flickering.

The Sparks overcame a quiet night by Lisa Leslie and kept alive their postseason dreams with a 74-63 victory over the Minnesota Lynx.

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Chamique Holdsclaw had 20 points and eight rebounds and Tamika Whitmore added 17 and nine for the Sparks (17-17), who matched a season high with their third straight win and tied Phoenix for the Western Conference's final playoff spot with two games left.

However, if Los Angeles is going to avoid missing the playoffs for the first time since 1998 it will need to finish ahead of Phoenix, having lost the season series.

Holdsclaw more than picked up the slack for Leslie, the face of the franchise who scored just eight points on 3-of-13 shooting to go along with 10 rebounds and seven turnovers.

In the first half, Holdsclaw scored 10 points on 5-of-7 shooting as the Sparks raced to a 42-27 lead.

Already eliminated from playoff contention, the Lynx (14-19) attempted to make things interesting and pulled with 65-60 with 5:29 remaining on two free throws by Nicole Ohlde, who scored 16 points.

However, Raffaella Masciadri made 4-of-5 free throws as the Sparks rebuilt the lead to double digits with just under two minutes left.

Svetlana Abrosimova scored 14 points for the Lynx, who lost for the fifth time in six games.