Lynx Retire Whalen’s Number, Fall to Sparks
On the same day as the Minnesota Lynx made history with the retirement ceremony of Lindsay Whalen’s number 13, they lost to their biggest rival, the Los Angeles Sparks.
It was a fierce, close game as is always the case when these two teams meet. The Lynx dropped the first bucket but quickly fell behind 7-2. Towards the middle of the period, Minnesota went on a 7-0 run to close the gap to 12-11. Los Angeles was able to push out the lead two more times, but the Lynx roared back. The teams ended the first tied up 17-17.
Strong defensive play for the Lynx started to fall apart in the second quarter. The Sparks pushed the lead out to 20-17 to open the period. Los Angeles went on an 8-0 run and eventually led the Lynx by 13 points. With the Sparks in foul trouble, Minnesota rallied in the final three minutes. They cut the deficit to five and entered the half down 44-39.
The Sparks were hot to start the second act, but the Lynx toughed it out and fought back. Minnesota went on a 12-2 run to retake the lead 51-50. They pushed out to as many as seven points at 59-52, before the tight battle began. After several ties and lead changes, Los Angeles hit a buzzer-beater three-pointer to end the third on top 67-66.
Early in the fourth, LA extended their lead to four points. After that, it was a nail-biting back and forth battle. Minnesota had a strong rally with just over four minutes to play and then again with a shot clock three-point buzzer beater to take an 83-82 lead with 1:10 to play. Ultimately, though, the Sparks were able to outlast the Lynx who fell for just the second time this season, 89-85.
Lexie Brown led the team with a career-high 21 points. Sylvia Fowles added 20 points and 13 rebounds for a double-double. She also surpassed 5,000 career points in the game.
Napheesa Collier added 18 points and 8 rebounds. Odyssey Sims scored 11 points against her former team. This game also marked the third time this season that the Lynx have given up over 20 turnovers. They lead the league in steals per game at 10.
The Lynx fall to 4-2. The will travel to New York on Wednesday to take on the floundering Liberty. Tip-off is at 6:00 p.m.