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Sparks, Lynx both need a turnaround to start now

Feb 25, 2022; Los Angeles, California, USA;  Los Angeles Sparks Liz Cambage, center, attends the game between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Los Angeles Clippers at Crypto.com Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Derek Fisher knows the reality of his business as well as anyone.

“This is pro sports,” the Los Angeles Sparks coach said. “You’ve got to get W’s.”

Which is why his team’s game Sunday night against the Minnesota Lynx in Minneapolis is critical. Neither team has enough of those “W’s” Fisher mentioned earlier in the week.

Friday night’s 101-96 setback at Indiana was the sixth in seven games for Los Angeles (3-6), and Minnesota (2-6) dropped six of its first seven before rallying in the fourth quarter Tuesday night to dump visiting New York, 84-78.

While there’s still plenty of time for both teams to turn things around — the Lynx started poorly last year and still wound up a playoff squad — they’re both going to run out of pages to turn soon at this rate.

Defense has been a problem for the Sparks. They gave up 55 points in the first half Friday night and 82 through three quarters. They weren’t able to close out on 3-point shooters or keep Indiana off the offensive glass.

And the offense wasn’t quite good enough, even though it almost reached 100 points. Liz Cambage was bothered by double-teams all night and shot only 2 of 11 from the field before fouling out. Key turnovers also hurt Los Angeles’ cause.

“Time and patience,” Cambage said. “In the end, it’s just staying together and staying calm.”

Meanwhile, the Lynx finally found a reason to smile after a game. They trailed by eight in the fourth quarter before finishing with a 21-8 burst to earn their first home win.

Minnesota shot only 37.1 percent but resorted to effort plays that fueled the comeback. They forced some critical turnovers and also earned a 45-39 advantage on the boards. Earning 33 foul shots (and making 27) didn’t hurt, either.

Center Sylvia Fowles is leading the team with 17.4 points and 10.4 rebounds in her final season. Moriah Jefferson is chipping in 14.8 ppg.

–Field Level Media