Scouting Report: Lynx vs. Sparks
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Minnesota Lynx (13-6) vs. Los Angeles Sparks (7-10) 8:00 p.m., Target Center
Where to Listen: BOB 106.1 FM
Where to watch: ESPN2
The Lynx are coming off of a loss on Sunday in New York, and the team will look to bounce back at home against the Sparks on Tuesday.
Minnesota is 2-0 against Los Angeles this season, but this is their first meeting of the year at Target Center. The Lynx will look to protect their home court, something emphasized by coach Cheryl Reeve, and continue this season’s dominance over the Sparks.
The game will be broadcast nationally on ESPN2, and the Eastern and Western Conference All-Star starters will be announced during the game.
This Week’s Results
The Lynx traveled to New York to face the Liberty on Sunday. It was many players’ first time playing in Madison Square Garden, and prior to the game they were excited.
Afterward, however, it was a different story. The Liberty topped the Lynx 87-80 on Sunday to split the season series between the two teams at 1-1.
Tina Charles of New York took full advantage of a Minnesota post limited by Rebekkah Brunson’s knee surgery this spring. Charles finished with a game-high 32 points and 10 rebounds, and Lynx post-players Janel McCarville, Damiris Dantas and Devereaux Peters were held to a combined 13 points.
Tuesday’s game will be the first time the Lynx have hosted the Sparks this season. Minnesota has played in Los Angeles twice, and is 2-0 at the Staples Center.
The two teams’ last meeting was June 17, in the middle of a stretch where the Lynx played six games in 10 days. Minnesota came out of L.A. with a 94-77 win behind a 31-point performance from Maya Moore, and double-digit finishes from Lindsay Whalen and Seimone Augustus.
Key Matchup: Maya Moore vs. Nneka Ogwumike
Maya Moore has had big games for the Lynx against Los Angeles this season. She was especially important for her team in their June 17 94-77 win, dropping 31 points in the contest.
If the Lynx want to continue their winning streak against the Sparks, Moore will have to be a major offensive influence for Minnesota with Seimone Augustus potentially out for Tuesday’s game.
Nneka Ogwumike has been important for the Sparks this season, averaging 15.3 points per game and 7.3 rebounds. She was awarded Player of the Week honors in late June, after scoring 24, 20 and 22 points in three straight games.
Ogwumike will challenge the Lynx defensively with her shot and ability to get to the basket, so look for her to be defended tightly all game long.
Seimone Augustus has missed three consecutive games suffering from bursitis pain in her left knee. It will be a game-time decision whether Augustus will play on Tuesday night, but Reeve and her training staff have been adamant that she will not compete until she is back to 100 percent.
Rebekkah Brunson remains out after undergoing knee surgery this spring. She has been available for very limited practice, and is hoping to get back on the floor within the next month.
Sparks’ guard Candice Wiggins suffered a knee injury a month ago and is expected to be out another couple of weeks for Los Angeles.