WNBA: Lynx outlast Fever, Sparks rout Storm

Field Level Media/Reuters

Posted at Sep 13 2021 04:05 PM

Napheesa Collier #24 of the Minnesota Lynx high-fives teammate Natalie Achonwa #11 after the game against the Connecticut Sun on May 30, 2021 at Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. File photo. David Sherman, NBAE via Getty Images/AFP.
Napheesa Collier #24 of the Minnesota Lynx high-fives teammate Natalie Achonwa #11 after the game against the Connecticut Sun on May 30, 2021 at Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. File photo. David Sherman, NBAE via Getty Images/AFP.

Napheesa Collier scored 22 points and dished seven assists, Sylvia Fowles recorded 18 points and Aerial Powers added 17 as the Minnesota Lynx weathered a second-half run to hold off the Indiana Fever, 90-80, Sunday in Minneapolis.

Minnesota (20-10) started and finished strong en route to its seventh win in the last eight games. In between, however, the Lynx had to respond to a raucous comeback from the visiting Fever.

After trailing by a double-digit margin for much of the first half -- including by as many as 16 points in the second quarter -- Indiana (6-23) went on a 14-6 run in the third that changed the game's tone.

The Fever outscored the Lynx in the period 27-15 to take a two-point advantage into the fourth. The teams exchanged the lead nine times in the final quarter and were tied four times before Minnesota's game-ending, 12-2 run.

Kelsey Mitchell led all scorers with 25 points, 15 of which came from behind the 3-point arc. Her 5-of-7 shooting from long distance paced Indiana to an 8-of-17 team performance, and Mitchell connected on two to help keep Indiana on pace with Minnesota for much of the fourth quarter.

Victoria Vivians made two 3-pointers en route to 10 points for the Fever and dished seven assists. Lindsay Allen and Tiffany Mitchell also scored 10 points apiece, and Teaira McCowan added 17 points and eight rebounds in the loss.

Minnesota matched Indiana's scoring balance with all five Lynx starters hitting in double figures. Joining Collier, Fowles and Powers, Kayla McBride added 12 points and Crystal Dangerfield scored four of her 11 points on consecutive possessions in the game's waning moments to effectively seal the win.

Powers scored 13 in the first half on 5-of-7 shooting from the floor, and Minnesota went into intermission connecting on 56.3 percent of its field-goal attempts as a team. The Lynx finished the night at 56.1 percent from the floor to Indiana's 50 percent.

-- Sparks end six-game skid with rout of Storm --

Te'a Cooper scored 19 points as the host Los Angeles Sparks snapped a six-game losing streak with a convincing 81-53 victory over the Seattle Storm on Sunday night.

Nneka Ogwumike contributed 17 points and seven rebounds, and Erica Wheeler also scored 17 points, as Los Angeles (11-19) remained alive in the battle for the eighth and final WNBA playoff spot. The Sparks have two regular-season games remaining.

Brittney Sykes recorded 15 points and 10 rebounds in a contest Los Angeles led by as many 30 points.

Seattle star Breanna Stewart (left-foot injury) sat out and won't play again in the regular season.

Epiphanny Prince scored 12 points to pace the Storm (20-11), who lost for the fourth time in the past six games and fell into fourth place in the league standings.

Jewell Loyd had just five points on 2-of-9 shooting from the field and Sue Bird had only three points on 1-of-7 shooting for Seattle, which registered a season-low point total.

-- Mystics fend off Sky, maintain hold on final playoff spot --

Tina Charles dropped 31 points and 10 rebounds and led the visiting Washington Mystics on a big first-half run Sunday en route to a 79-71 win over the Chicago Sky.

Natasha Cloud added 16 points, eight assists and six rebounds, and Washington (12-18) held on to the eighth and final playoff spot in the league standings with a week left in the regular season.

Azura Stevens led the Sky with 18 points, and Candace Parker had 12 points with 11 rebounds on 5 of 12 shooting. Guard Allie Quigley added 15 points.

Charles, the WNBA's leading scorer, drilled a clutch 3 with 1:39 to play after Chicago had cut an 18-point second-half deficit to two, 71-69. She went 4 of 8 from beyond the arc.

Chicago (15-15) led 14-9 in the first quarter before Washington took over. The Mystics went on a 15-0 run to finish out the period, ending it with Leilani Mitchell's 3-pointer at the buzzer for a 24-14 lead.

The ice-cold Sky finally ended its long scoring drought with a Quigley free throw at the 8:31 mark of the second quarter. Then Charles and Mitchell hit back-to-back 3s for a 30-15 Washington lead with 7:08 left in the half.

In the third quarter, Sky head coach James Wade subbed out four of the five players on the court right before the Mystics stretched their lead to 56-38. Then Chicago's effort level went up.

A 3-pointer and layup from Dana Evans made it 61-53 after three quarters, and Chicago made it 69-66 with 3:55 left in the game on Parker's pass to Quigley for a short jumper in transition.

The Mystics remained without star Elena Della Donne, who has missed six straight games due to injury.