MINNEAPOLIS, Aug. 28 (Ticker) -- The first playoff game for the Minnesota Lynx may have been the most shocking in WNBA history.

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Katie Smith scored 14 of her 23 points in the second half as the Lynx rallied from a 21-point deficit for a 74-72 victory over the Los Angeles Sparks, who had their nine-game postseason winning streak snapped.

Minnesota lost five of its final eight regular-season games, stumbling into the first playoff appearance in franchise history.

Hopes of its first postseason win seemed slim against Los Angeles, which had not lost a playoff game since the 2001 Western Conference finals.

But the Sparks stumbled down the stretch and lost to the Lynx for the first time in 17 meetings.

Los Angeles had its largest lead at 53-32 with 19:07 remaining. But Minnesota stormed back as Smith and Tamika Williams combined for 24 of the team's 42 points in the final 20 minutes.

Smith forged a 72-72 tie with a three-pointer from the left corner with 24 seconds remaining. Williams stole Mwadi Mabika's inbounds pass near halfcourt and was fouled as she made a layup at the other end.

Williams missed the ensuing free throw and Mabika grabbed the rebound. She raced to the other end but was stripped by Janell Burse before attempting a final shot.

Williams finished with 16 points and Svetlana Abrosimova added 10 for Minnesota, which defeated Los Angeles for the first time since June 24, 1999.

Lisa Leslie scored 24 points and Tamecka Dixon added 18 for the Sparks, who lost despite shooting 52 percent (29-for-56) from the floor and making all 11 of their free throws.

Los Angeles committed 24 fouls and Leslie and Dixon were each forced to play limited minutes with five fouls apiece.