LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Sparks are out to prove they mean business and a 77-69 victory over the Minnesota Lynx does just that.
The Sparks scored 20 or more points in three of the four quarters as they defeated Minnesota (2-5) for the second time this season. Los Angeles used a strong opening to the second half and solid defense down the stretch to grab the win.
“Defensively, we were pretty solid,” Sparks coach Brian Agler said. “But I can’t say enough about the efforts that Alana does as an individual assignment on somebody. Maya Moore is as good as there is. There’s not anybody better than Maya Moore. Alana just makes it difficult.”
Candace Parker led the Sparks with 19 points, including 17 in the first half. Chelsea Gray added 15 points, while Nneka Owgumika and Odessey Sims each chipped in 12 apiece.
Jantel Lavender made her season debut and scored two points in two minutes of action.
“I think our chemistry is good, we’re getting everybody back,” Parker said. “We still don’t have everybody back, but we had a solid week of practice together and getting back on the court for us it’s just about reps.”
The Lynx struggled to get into a rhythm, despite shooting 60 percent in the first half. Maya Moore led Minnesota with 18 points and Sylvia Fowles added 14. However, Lindsay Whalen played just seven minutes.
“I don’t like losing,” Moore said. “Especially this year.”
The Sparks are now 4-1 on the season and will return to the court on Thursday when they welcome the Seattle Storm (5-2) to Staples Center at 7:30 p.m. PT.