Lynx Roll Past Sparks, 88-64






Mark Remme
Lynx Editor/Writer

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There was a different feel from the very beginning on Friday night—much different than the 28-point defeat the Lynx suffered in their meeting with the Sparks in Los Angeles last week. This time around, the assertive, aggressive and defensively-tenacious Minnesota club fans have grown to know and love was there from the beginning and never looked back.

Box Score LYNX BOXSCORE
Lynx vs. Sparks
This time, in front of an exceptionally loud fan base at Target Center, the Lynx rolled to an 88-64 victory over the Sparks and likely accentuated the idea that when it comes to the top two teams in the West, home court is likely going to play a pretty important factor down the stretch. It’s early, but having your own fan base behind you seems to make all the difference.

That, and a refocused approach that has fueled this Lynx team since falling to L.A. at Staples Center last Friday.

“I think everybody had that mindset when we left—everybody was extremely upset,” forward Devereaux Peters said. “We came into practice this week and we went extremely hard trying to make each other better. We set the tone early in this game, and that’s what we’ve tried to do. We’ll try to do that more consistently throughout the season.”


Minnesota did it through a healthy dose of scoring in the paint, impenetrable defense and a relentless game from Lindsay Whalen. Whalen ran the show, finishing with 20 points while dishing off six assists and opening the door for a 19-poiont effort from Seimone Augustus and a 12-point performance from Maya Moore.

The Lynx never let L.A. get comfortable, particularly near the hoop. That’s not an easy task when facing center Candace Parker, but Minnesota contested hard and held L.A. to 9-of-25 shooting in the paint.

“It started out with our defense,” coach Cheryl Reeve said. “We didn’t like our tempo. It started in Tulsa having a greater emphasis on pushing the ball off of our defense. Just being more persistent about what we were doing.”

Off the bench, Peters and Monica Wright put together a combined 11-for-19 shooting performance. Peters had 14 points to go along with 13 from Wright, and the two alone outscored the Sparks’ bench alone—L.A. finished with 11 points from their reserves.

Parker led the way with 17 points for L.A., while Kirsti Toliver added 14 and Lindsey Harding had 11.

Leader of the Pack: Lindsay Whalen

As usual, Whalen did a little bit of everything on Friday night. Her shot was on from the very beginning, she worked her way to the line (where she shot 8-for-9), and she was also able to facilitate and help on the glass. She finished with a game-high 20 points, six assists and five rebounds.

Highlight of the Game

With 5:54 remaining in the third quarter, Maya Moore had the ball on the wing and spotted Devereaux Peters cutting to the hoop behind a trio of Sparks players. She tossed a passed toward the rim and Peters completed the play with an alley-oop layup that put the Lynx up by 17 at 54-37.

The Numbers Game

Audio: Maya Moore With Alan Horton

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The Lynx held the Sparks to zero bench points during the first half and 11 points from their reserves during the contest…Minnesota held a 26-8 points in the paint advantage at the half…After losing 87-59 on the road in Los Angeles last week, the Lynx responded with a monster performance in which they at one point led by 20 and never lost control…With the win, the Lynx have now won a franchise record 13 home games in a row dating back to July 2012…The Lynx shot 34.9 percent in their first matchup with L.A. this year…After being outscored by 10 in the paint in their first meeting, the Lynx held a 52-18 advantage on Friday night…The Sparks are now 0-3 on the road and 5-0 at home.

Quotable

“Definitely loud. Definitely loud. The people showed out tonight, it’s a nice Friday night game, and the Twins were playing, we’re playing. It’s just a great day to be a Minnesota fan.” — Lynx forward Maya Moore

Looking Ahead

The Lynx will get another shot at the Sparks in their next game as they travel to Los Angeles for a matchup at Staples Center on Tuesday at 9:30 PM. They’ll then come home for two games against Phoenix and Atlanta on July 7 and 9, respectively, before going on a four-game road trip in the middle of July.


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