The Los Angeles Sparks cracked the code that no other WNBA team could up until this point in the season, beating the undefeated Lynx, 94-76.
In a back-and-fourth battle throughout, the Sparks were able to pull away in the second half, scoring 56 points in the final 20 minutes.
“I thought they played with that chip on their shoulder and determination,” Lynx head coach Cheryl Reeve said. “Perhaps we had a bit of a hangover.”
Kristi Toliver and Nneka Ogwumike put on a show for the 13,000-plus fans inside the Target Center, combining for 45 points, 10 rebounds, seven assists and three steals.
Los Angeles played tenacious defense all night, causing Minnesota to struggle from beyond-the-arc and turn the ball over an uncharacteristic 18 times.
11: Ranking second in the league in assists per game with 20 per game, Minnesota only tallied 14 on Friday night and were ‘out-assisted’ by this many.
11: Los Angeles lit it up from 3-point range, making this many of their 19 attempts. Any time your opponent makes more than 50 percent of their attempts from deep, it’s going to be a difficult game to win.
“In the game, they played well,” Lindsay Whalen said. “We obviously had some points where we should have done better and we could have done more. We’ll look at the tape and we’ll see what we need to correct. Give them credit, they got a road win here in a tough environment and they came in and got the win, which is unfortunate for us – we had amazing fans and they outplayed us tonight.”
13: Despite the loss, Minnesota set the record for the best start to a WNBA season by winning this many games in a row.
Leader of the Pack: Maya Moore
The Lynx forward had a great game, scoring an efficient 28 points, dishing out four assists and tallying three steals.
“I think the bounce in their step was greater than ours,” Moore said. “They had to come in with their backs against the wall on the road and we didn’t do enough to make sure the momentum stayed in our favor longer.”