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Sparks, Lynx meet in must-win mode with playoffs ahead

Sportsnaut
Jun 26, 2022; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Minnesota Lynx forward Aerial Powers (3) looks to pass the ball against Chicago Sky guard Julie Allemand (20) during the second half of a WNBA game at Wintrust Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Sparks aim to end their recent tailspin when they host the Minnesota Lynx on Sunday night.

The Sparks (12-16) have lost two straight games and five of their past seven and will wake up Sunday in eighth place in the WNBA standings. Only the top eight finishers make the playoffs.

Minnesota (11-19) also is in must-win mode as it sits in 10th place with six games remaining.

Los Angeles will try to regain its form in its second game since the club mutually parted ways with unhappy center Liz Cambage.

The Sparks didn’t play well in the first game without Cambage as they trailed by 27 points in the third quarter while falling 90-80 to the host Phoenix Mercury on Thursday.

The bright spot was Chennedy Carter scoring a season-high 23 points on 8-of-10 shooting off the bench. She has averaged 19 points in the past two games after missing nearly three weeks with a knee injury.

Carter is adamant the Sparks can right the ship and make a late-season charge.

“I want y’all to know that we’re going through a lot,” said Carter, per the Los Angeles Times. “But we got a lot of great vets, a lot of great leaders who are keeping our circle tight.”

Minnesota is coming off Thursday’s 92-85 win over the Atlanta Dream in the opener of a three-game road trip. The victory ended a three-game slide.

Aerial Powers scored 25 points for her fourth 20-point effort of the month. She is averaging 17.8 points in July.

The Lynx led by 20 points at halftime, and again after three quarters, but the finish wasn’t easy as Atlanta scored 40 fourth-quarter points.

“I’d like to finish the game better,” Minnesota coach Cheryl Reeve told the Star Tribune. “But we played well. We defended (well). That’s why we were disappointed in our fouling, because we did a great job on their half-court offense.”

Minnesota’s Kayla McBride averaged 21.5 points when the teams split two games in May. McBride scored 24 as the Lynx notched an 87-84 road victory on May 17, and Los Angeles returned the favor with an 85-83 away win on May 29 behind 20 points from Carter.

–Field Level Media