June 21, 2024

Offensive struggles and a 25-point clinic by Napheesa Collier helped Minnesota beat the Sparks 86-62 on Wednesday.

Collier made 10 of 15 from the field, 4 of 5 from the free-throw line and added two steals while Kayla McBride recorded 13 points, three rebounds and three assists. The game was altered by foul trouble for the Sparks and Lynx, who put up 20 and 18, respectively.

Dearica Hamby led the Sparks with 17 points and 11 rebounds for her fifth double-double of the season. Layshia Clarendon, who returned from a concussion-triggered absence, added seven points, four rebounds and a pair of steals.

After an 11-0 run by Minnesota to open the contest, the Sparks couldn’t catch up, letting the Lynx build a 20-point lead in the second quarter. Minnesota led 45-26 at the half and maintained a double-digit lead the rest of the game.

The third quarter saw the Lynx extend their lead over the Sparks to a game-high 28 points. Cecilia Zandalasini committed a flagrant foul on Rae Burrell, who fell to the ground clutching her shin. Burrell quickly returned to the court.

The Sparks began to play with a sense of urgency in the fourth quarter and narrowed the gap to 12 at one point, but they still weren’t able to capitalize on shooting opportunities and struggled to get past a relentless Lynx defense.

With Wednesday’s loss, the Sparks dropped to 2-7. They continue their search for their second home win of the season at 7 p.m. Friday against the Dallas Wings.

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